The end of labels and plastic bags?
To reduce its environmental impact, Compagnie Fruitière will soon adopt two new techniques: natural branding and fully compostable bags.
By 2050, production and consumption patterns in the EU will have to be based on the so-called circular economy model. This is a virtuous model that limits the waste of resources and the production of waste by producers, distributors and consumers. There is competition for solutions among the players in the agri-food sector, who are committed to this ecological transition.
No stickers or plastic
Natural laser branding, which is being studied by Compagnie Fruitière, is an innovation particularly adapted to the organic sector. Devised by the Spanish start-up Laser Food, this process allows the skin of bananas to be tattooed directly without using ink or denaturing the fruit. The laser simply depigments the skin superficially in order to record the necessary information on it. This technology, applied to all of Compagnie Fruitière’s organic and fair trade banana production, would eliminate more than 2 million plastic bags and as many labels each year. Anticipating the next EU environmental regulations, the group is already positioning itself as a pioneer in environmentally friendly distribution.
Compostable bags here and there
At the same time, the Innovation department is conducting research into fully compostable packaging bags, bio-sourced bags made of organic matter (corn or potato) and capable of degrading completely in the domestic composter. This technology would facilitate recycling by the end consumer and anticipate the European strategy of eliminating all non-recyclable packaging by 2030.
Far from the supermarkets, there are other challenges in Africa’s banana plantations of Africa. There, the bananas are protected from birds, direct sunlight and friction by means of non-recyclable plastic protection sleeves. Total production would drop from 30% to 50% without these protections, which demonstrates their importance. After use, they are then collected and returned to suppliers for re-use or destruction in approved centres. However, a small number of these sleeves can fly into the wild and become dispersed in the region’s fields or waterways. To reduce this risk to a strict minimum, the Innovation department is currently testing fully compostable banana protection sleeves. However, they must be more resistant, just like the compostable bags found in supermarket fruit and vegetable aisles.
Various customers have already expressed their interest in these alternative solutions that resonate with consumers. Committed to an eco-design strategy, Compagnie Fruitière is studying other processes and actions in order to develop an increasingly sustainable and eco-responsible agriculture.