The scope of sustainability has grown a lot over the years, and alongside that, so has BerryWorld’s focus. BerryWorld is convinced that sustainability is a natural part of being a successful business and as a group, is striving to act in an ethical, transparent and responsible way.
“We are continuously re-thinking what we do and how we do it, to further expand our contribution to a safe and pleasant world, both now and in the future” explains Tim Newton, Group Technical Director. “Globally, we are pursuing our mission to grow the berry world, whilst balancing the need to integrate sustainability into our daily routine. This drives us to think about how we create value in the long term, by balancing economic global growth with a positive social and environmental impact on the world around us.”
The BerryWorld Group now has businesses in 8 countries and is focused on defining achievable sustainability goals, using its branded range as a controllable vehicle to drive positive change. The company is fully aware of its responsibility as a business and is actively taking steps to rethink plastic packaging in a co-ordinated way across markets.
In the UK, all BerryWorld’s punnets are 100% widely recyclable and contain between 50-80% rPET (recycled plastic) content. The business is continuously testing and reviewing many packaging formats to supply the UK market with a more sustainable, yet commercially viable option without compromising food quality or shelf life. An ambitious goal has been set to ensure 100% recyclable packaging, including film and bubble pads by 2021 with a minimum of 80% rPET content by 2025.
BerryWorld The Netherlands is propelling change within its markets, aiming to ensure all punnets supplied to customers contain a minimum of 80% rPET in 2020. Whilst BerryWorld South Africa, has committed to a minimum of 50% rPET content for 2020, with a long-term vision to switch to post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic.
The same positive efforts are echoed in France, with an eco-friendly cardboard punnet being developed alongside rPET film to provide a 100% recyclable offer in the French market. BerryWorld France has also streamlined its recyclable cardboard outers into one format, which will contribute towards a more efficient supply chain within both the retail and wholesale markets.
In North America, BerryWorld’s joint venture partner, Mastronardi Produce, is the first fresh produce company to join the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a collection of leading companies and thought leaders who believe in the power of industry to make packaging more sustainable. Mastronardi BerryWorld America is continuously exploring and testing sustainable packaging options in market, including plastic-free packaging and backyard compostable materials.
BerryWorld’s packaging focus does not stop with berries. Its dedicated prepared fruit business, PrepWorld, has now reduced the use of plastic sporks from 57 tonnes down to just 7.2 tonnes annually. In addition, by simply reducing the thickness of some punnet formats, the business has further reduced its plastic usage by 71 tonnes. Focus has now turned towards adding a biodegradable option to the prepared offer, but this is still in its infancy and a better understanding of consumer recycling behaviour is critical to its success.
“BerryWorld’s expertise within local markets highlights there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. As such, we are aligning ourselves with both consumer attitudes and retailers demands across all territories to supply tailor-made sustainable packaging options for all our customers, both in Europe and beyond”, Tim concludes.