Major avocado supplier Westfalia Fruit is preparing to unveil a raft of sustainable innovations at Fruit Logistica, with initiatives spanning water conservation, sustainable packaging, and beauty products.
In one initiative Westfalia Fruit has pioneered a low-flow drip irrigation technique for avocado growing. It saves a large volume of water and is estimated to bring a 50 per cent irrigation efficiency boost in farms where it is implemented.
In use in several of Westfalia’s farms across South Africa, Portugal, Chile, and Mozambique, the technology will be rolled out across the group’s global farming portfolio as old orchards are replanted with new ones.
In addition, Westfalia Fruit’s business in France has launched a new range of environmentally and consumer-friendly packaging for avocados, which it says “dramatically” reduces the use of plastic while maintaining fruit quality.
The cardboard in the zero-plastic options is fully compostable and made from materials certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, the only timber certification scheme endorsed by conservation organisation WWF.
The third project will, for the first time, see ground avocado seeds from Westfalia used in beauty products, replacing the now banned and environmentally harmful plastic micro-beads previously used.
After three years of research, development and product testing, Westfalia Fruit’s business in the UK is supplying the ground avocado seeds to the premium beauty brand Dr. Craft for use as an exfoliator in a range of cosmetics.
The project has demonstrated that the versatile fruit can be used not only in cosmetics but also as a potential replacement for microplastics within the food, home care and materials sectors.
“As a leading multinational supplier of avocados, and a range of fresh vegetables and fruit, we are committed to protecting precious water resources, reducing waste and becoming ‘lifetime carbon neutral’ by 2049,” said Johnathan Sutton, group safety and environmental executive at Westfalia Fruit.