MONTEREY, Calif. — With increased concerns over single-use plastic as well as a heightened awareness of the availability of more sustainable options, Yakima, WA-based Sage Fruit has been actively seeking alternative solutions to traditional packaging.
During this past cherry season, Sage Fruit launched a Bio-Able Pouch bag for its organic cherries.
“While we are currently seeking options for both our conventional and organic products, we felt that the organic consumer would be the best place to initiate a trial,” said Chuck Sinks, president of sales and marketing for Sage Fruit. “The bag utilizes Sev-Rend’s patent-pending Bio-Able solutions. Bio-Able Solutions directly addresses plastic and food packaging sustainability.”
Enabled with bio-assimilation technology, these new bags are 100-percent recyclable and uniquely formulated to fully degrade in both marine and terrestrial environments, leaving behind zero micro-plastic waste. Key features of the new package include being ASTM 5526 certified, ASTM 6954 Tier 1 certified, and FDA approved.
“We anticipate seeing more and more consumers demanding sustainable packaging solutions,” Sinks said. “For our initial trial of the Bio-Able cherry pouch bags, they were only available for a short time in the summer. However, we hope to introduce an apple bag that will utilize similar technology.”
The new Sage Fruit packaging was recently featured on The Produce Moms podcast where the hosts discussed the company’s sustainability efforts. To better get the word out, the company is also working with its retail partners on marketing efforts and connecting with consumers through social media channels.
Next season, Sage Fruit will also look to trial home-compostable top seal cherry punnets.
“Additionally, for the 2021-2022 season, we will continue our partnership with Apeel Sciences for a third season,” Sinks said. “We will be treating numerous mainstream organic apple varieties, including Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, and Pink Lady with Apeel. What we found is that organic apples treated with Apeel can reach a shelf-life of up to 40 days.”
“Our goal is to provide our customers and their consumers with increased availability of premium organic apples,” Sinks said. “Through our partnership with Apeel, we feel that we can accomplish that while also providing a more crisp and flavorful experience to the purchaser. Utilizing the Apeel technology, we create a barrier on the fruit that helps prevent moisture loss and keeps product fresher longer.”
Sage Fruit’s leadership understands that today’s consumers want to lead a more sustainable lifestyle, and they expect the companies they purchase their goods and services from to help them achieve these sustainability goals.
“There are numerous promotional opportunities and new product launches on the horizon,” Sinks said. “We are also seeing retail-specific initiatives emphasizing the desire to use more sustainable options within stores. Rather than wait for time frames on such mandates to elapse, our goal is to get ahead of those timelines and bring more sustainable options to our customers.”
— Organic Produce Network
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