Industry News

Fresh Direct announces a change in packaging material for berries to help the environment

by | Nov 28, 2023

Fresh Direct has been in discussion with its collaborators, Greene King and Driscoll’s, about the kind of packaging they are using for their fruit produce. The UK’s leading foodservice fresh produce provider, Fresh Direct, has now announced that a variety of its fruit will be packaged in a new kind of material.

Fresh Direct discussed this decision with their collaborators, as they all have a key role to play within this production process. Greene King is the UK’s leading pub company and brewer and Driscoll’s is a global berry supplier, and after extensive discussions, lots of research and experiments being carried out, the decision was made. Fresh Direct has announced that they will be switching the packaging of a selection of their produce into the new, FSC-certified paper packaging, with the first switch taking place in November.

This decision to move to a new kind of packaging is an extremely beneficial one for the environment, as the new materials will mean that the packaging is easily recyclable, is better for the environment and reduces the amount of plastic waste produced from the berry cartons. This reduction of plastic waste will measure up to an estimated 50 tons of plastic waste being saved annually, and around five tons of this reduction will come from Greene King’s supply chain. The berries to be moved to the new packaging include blueberries, raspberries and blackberries and Fresh Direct recently mentioned that strawberries will also be included in the switch as of January 2024. In order to make this all possible, Driscoll’s put the cartons through an extensive trial to ensure that all the fruit packaged in this innovative new way would be protected properly and product quality and integrity would be sufficiently maintained.

The Head of Procurement for fruit at Fresh Direct, Hardeep Rait, commented, “With a crop that’s as fragile as berries, we needed to find a solution that protected the fruit as well as being more sustainable. After trialling various options over an extended period, Driscoll’s identified a fantastic solution that we’ve now implemented across Sysco GB companies. Initial customer feedback has been fantastic, and we’ve been delighted that the packaging has really helped support product quality, with the berries arriving in great condition.”

The Director of food buying at Greene King, Paul Whiteley, added, “We’re delighted to have worked with Fresh Direct to significantly reduce the amount of plastic packaging entering our business and to also see them rolling out this initiative more widely across their supply chains. As we all unite to reduce our environmental impact, joined-up working and collaboration like this is invaluable. The new containers are high-quality and maintain the same standard of product our customers expect.”

Pin It on Pinterest