One of the most contentious issues confronting the fresh produce sectors at the moment is unquestionably the issue of plastic packaging on fruit and vegetables. There is a consensus across retailers, fruit and vegetable distributors, wholesalers, packers, and consumers that it is an issue that needs to be addressed urgently. Based in the Netherlands, organic produce specialists, OTC Organics B.V. are bringing to market their own solutions.
“Trying to meet demand for non-plastic packaging from our customers prior to the start of the South African Organic Table grape season, we have introduced two types of recyclable carton table grape packaging,” explains Bart van der Vliet, Sales & Marketing Manager OTC Organics B.V.
“Many fruits and vegetables can be traded easily without packaging, this is more difficult for other products, like grapes. We are all familiar with the picture of grapes in a plastic clamshell. This plastic bowl is designed to protect the fruit, making it safer and easier to transport grapes worldwide. Despite being the ‘standard packaging’ and also the cheapest packaging choice, we at OTC Organics decided we need to change this,” shares Mr. van der Vliet.
“Together with all our stakeholders we recently organised a packaging seminar to exchange views and opinions, at our office in Dronten. One of the results of the seminar was the introduction of a carton for table grape packaging. With that conclusion in mind, we have developed a box with fixed lid in our own brand MmmBIO®, together with our packing partner Eurowest. This new packaging can be easily recycled after use, consisting of paper – what we as a modern step towards a plastic-free shelf. We also developed a carton sleeve combined with a cardboard box, in collaboration with our German customer, and this is used exclusively by German retailers.”
The new packaging has been already on a display at the Fruit Attraction in Madrid. OTC Organics will also show it at the company’s stand at the Fruit Logistica in Berlin, they can seen be at Hall 3.2 / B-07.