ANAHEIM, Calif. — From 110 entries, the Produce Marketing Association trimmed the list and announced the winners of its annual produce packaging awards during the breakfast session Oct. 2 at its Fresh Summit 2009 convention.

The Newark, Del.-based association announced its 2009 Impact Award: Excellence in Produce Packaging winners in six categories:

  • Environment/sustainability — Earthbound Farm, San Juan Batista, Calif.
  • Food safety/traceability — YottaMark Inc., Redwood City, Calif.
  • Functionality/technology — Clear Lam Packaging Inc., Elk Grove, Ill., and Taylor Farms Inc., Salinas, Calif.
  • Marketing design — The Oppenheimer Group, Vancouver, British Columbia, and Zespri International, Tauranga, New Zealand
  • Marketing messaging/content — Stemilt Growers Inc., Wenatchee, Wash., and
  • Supply chain efficiencies — IFCO Systems NA, Houston.
Innovative packs garner PMA Impact Awards

Ashley Bentley

Fred Heptinstall, president and general manager of IFCO’s RPC Management Services, and Hillary Femal, marketing manager, display the Houston-based company’s Impact Award, which it was given by PMA for packaging excellence at the association’s Fresh Summit in Anaheim, Calif.

IFCO earned its award for its reusable plastic containers.

“To be recognized this way is exciting because the market is starting to realize what the value is in RPCs,” said Fred Heptinstall, president and general manager of IFCO RPC management services.

The company is up to nearly 70 distribution centers from just more than 40 two years ago, Heptinstall said. Wal-Mart, Kroger, H-E-B, Food Lion, Wegmans, Aldi and Tesco are some of the retailers on board with using RPCs, he said.

Taylor Farms California Inc. is among the first to distribute its salads in new clear, rigid containers from Clear Lam Packaging, said Roman Forowycz, chief marketing officer for Clear Lam. The two received a joint award for the containers.

Earthbound Farm’s award also was for a clear container, but it earned the sustainability recognition for the 100% postconsumer recycled polyethylene terephthalate plastic in use for all its clamshell packages.

Innovative packs garner PMA Impact Awards

Dan Gailbraith

Patsy Daniels, category analyst for Vancouver, British Columbia-based The Oppenheimer Group, shows off the product that won The Oppenheimer Group and Zespri International an Impact Award. The individually wrapped convenience pack includes kiwifruit, a napkin and a spike utensil.

Oppenheimer took home the award for its single-serve kiwifruit clamshell, which comes with a cut and scoop spoon and a moist towelette.

Stemilt’s Fresh, Flavorful & Family-Farmed cherry display bin earned honors for its marketing message.
YottaMark expanded its HarvestMark traceability system to work with Progressive Produce’s microwaveable
MicroBaker yams, earning it recognition for food safety and traceability.