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Naturipe Farms has taken a big step forward in its commitment to sustainability.
The Salinas, Calif.-based berry grower is adding the How2Recycle label on packaging to help ensure that consumers properly recycle, said Janis McIntosh, director of marketing innovation and sustainability.
All Naturipe products, including organic and conventional strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries and avocados eventually will include the How2Recycle logo in the design, she said.
How2Recycle is a standardized labeling system that clearly communicates recycling instructions to the public, according to its website — how2recycle.info.
“It involves a coalition of forward-thinking brands who want their packaging to be recycled and are empowering consumers through smart packaging labels,” the website says.
That’s not the extent of Naturipe’s sustainability efforts.
“In addition to the How2Recycle label, Naturipe was the first adopter of heat seal technology for both fresh and value-added berry product lines, which reduces plastic by 33%,” McIntosh said.
A single foodservice pack change removed almost 550 pounds of plastic per week from the waste stream, she said.
“Last year, Naturipe increased its Heat Seal Program substantially, resulting in 24 metric tons of plastic removed from its packaging.”
The company is looking to remove as much as 60 metric tons of plastic from its packaging in 2020, more than doubling last year’s goal, she said.
Naturipe also has joined major North American fresh berry producers in announcing its goal to use 100% recycle-ready packaging by 2025.
“This pledge coincides with Naturipe’s Cultivate with Care sustainability program, which is our commitment to operating our business in a way that minimizes environmental impact and simultaneously supports our local and global communities,” McIntosh said.
It is dedication to sustainability and the environment — not economics — that is the motivating factor behind joining the How2Recycle program and changing Naturipe packaging, McIntosh said.
“Investing in the earth is not only the right thing to do, but it is also particularly important for us because we need the healthiest and best environmental conditions to grow our tasty berries,” she said.
Naturipe always has been committed to sustainability and environmentally friendly practices, McIntosh said.
“Together with our family of farmers, we’ve made it a priority to reduce the environmental footprint in all areas of the business including, business practices at large, packaging reduction, and recyclability,” she said.
“We’ve been innovating on this front for years, and as the director of marketing innovation and sustainability, I will continue to focus my efforts to further innovate and reduce our environmental footprint.”