The scope of sustainability has grown a lot over the years, and alongside that, so
has BerryWorld’s focus. BerryWorld believes sustainability is a natural part
of being a successful business and 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 eight countries and is focused on defining achievable sustainability goals, using its branded range as a controllable vehicle to drive positive change. The company 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 reduced 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”, Newton said.