In efforts to minimize the company’s environmental impact, BerryWorld will this season continue to pack its British berry supply in Prevented Ocean Plastic that it introduced last year.
The company is “conscious of their role in the supply chain and wider role in society” and is therefore working to ensure UK berries are sustainably grown and packaged, according to a press release.
“We are proud to be leading the way for sustainable packaging innovation in the UK berry category. Our position within the supply chain is key to support growers so that they can continue to grow berries sustainably whilst we continue to meet our customer needs, through constant adaption and evolution,” Wickus Olivier, Operations Director at BerryWorld UK said.
Last year, BerryWorld UK became the first berry supplier to introduce berry packaging made from Prevented Ocean Plastic after partnering with Sharpak, and Bantam Materials International.
Raffi Schieir, Director of Bantam Materials the supplier of Prevented Ocean Plastic, said: “We developed Prevented Ocean Plastic to be part of the solution to ocean plastic pollution and are delighted to be working with BerryWorld to offer its customers a better plastic choice.”
“By choosing products made from recycled content it ensures recycling has already happened and use of new plastic has been reduced.”
Prevented Ocean Plastic is high-quality, certified recycled plastic that has been collected from coastal areas at risk of ocean plastic pollution that meets regulatory health and safety standards and is traceable back to the source.
The Prevented Ocean Plastic has a ”positive environmental impact”, by reducing the amount of plastic going into the oceans, and thereby reducing harm to marine life, and mitigating greenhouse gases through recycling existing waste plastic instead of making new plastic.
After having trialed Prevented Ocean Plastic last year, BerryWorld UK will now be packing its British berries, own-label and BerryWorld brand, using this sustainable packaging this year.
“Prevented Ocean Plastic punnets have a minimum of 80 percent recycled content, going up to 90 percent. By moving our British soft fruit supply to this packaging this season, we aim to prevent 222 tons of plastic from entering the ocean, equivalent to 8.9 million water bottles,” Olivier said.
Innovation to ensure farming sustainability
BerryWorld is also trialing several automation options in 2021, given challenges around labor, to ensure soft fruit growing continues to be a sustainable activity for the company’s growers.
Two packhouse trials will come into fruition in May, including medium and large capacity throughput ‘Pick and Place’ robots, which will be tested with the objective of increasing automation.
In addition, BerryWorld is continuing its journey, exploring the use of harvesting robots, across multiple growing environments including glasshouse picking and outdoor picking in tunnels.
“At BerryWorld, we are proud to be innovation-led and we will continue to keep an eye out for the latest innovations in the industry, to make sure our berries are always bursting with berry goodness, meaning sustainably grown and packed for the best flavor,” Olivier said.