“As a millennial, it’s no surprise, from a very early age I was taught about the ‘Three R’s’ of environmental responsibility and sustainability, ‘Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle’”, Madison Wilson, Marketing Coordinator for Village Farms Greenhouse Grown brand tells us. She goes on to say, “For many of my peers, the 3 R’s are now ingrained into our daily routines and life practices”. Finding reusable options, using less, and recycling have simply become a way of life for this generation. Millennials, as well as Gen X and Z, prioritize products that align with their sustainability goals and healthy lifestyles.
And at the same time, every year more than 400 million tons of plastics are discarded worldwide, and only 14-18% are recycled. During the pandemic, there was a heightened concern for food safety, especially regarding unpackaged foods. Packaging helps to keep produce items safe and aids in what retailers refer to as reducing ‘shrink’, which also comes at a huge cost of doing business. In turn, packaging can reduce food waste which also comes at a huge cost to the environment. So, the need to protect our food and increase its shelf life with packaging is still relevant and necessary today.
The challenge to find environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic has increased in urgency. Sustainable packaging solutions that ensure the safety and shelf life of a product are also key. Village Farms has been working for several years now to develop and test packaging that can remain out of landfills. The recently launched Sensational Sara tomato was the debut of one such solution for the company.
Sensational Sara tomatoes are packaged in an innovative 1lb environmentally-friendly box that is biodegradable and recyclable. The clear window film is made from a natural cellulose material that is certified home compostable. The film can be easily peeled away and tossed in your backyard compost pile or community compost bin. The remaining paper board box can be recycled in your regular cardboard/paper recycling stream. A QR code on pack guides consumers through this simple process of separating the film from the box.
Village Farms is thrilled to offer this environmentally responsible packaging option for the debut of its unique newest tomato variety Sensational Sara in a 1lb box. Village Farms is also offering this box for their 1lb Maverick Mix tomatoes, a lovely mix of specialty tomatoes in assorted shapes and sizes. They are hoping this type of packaging will gain further momentum with their retail partners. Aquino also mentioned, “We have a number of retailers showing interest and some with sustainability initiatives already in place giving preference to suppliers that can deliver on protecting the environment and sustainable packaging is one way such way.”