Supermarket Perimeter - December 2023 - 45

" in balance with nature " - completely sourced by natural products, and
100% returnable to nature after its use.
" Regenerative, " not " sustainable, " should be the operative word in that
quest, Paap said.
" It's a journey, and we should expect that we're not going to find the
solution right away. "
Meanwhile, in the " right away " of the present, the focus needs to be
slightly different, said Jen Doxey, director of sales for Fox Packaging.
" Right now, the reality is not bio-based, the reality is plastic. We have
to have tangible milestones to move forward. "
One of those milestones, she said, is California's requirement that all
packaging be recyclable within a decade.
While some customers are demanding bio-based right now, others
are demanding recyclable plastic, Doxey said. It's crucial to recognize
that reality - and all realities when it comes to packaging and
sustainability.
" It's important that we be honest, and not trick people into thinking
they're getting something better, when they're actually getting
something worse. "
More and more consumers are demanding biodegradable packaging,
said Rich Mendonsa, president of Mendonsa Consulting. But they're
often not realistic about the price tag.
" Consumers want everything, but they want it at no cost. "
PCR is in many ways the hot produce packaging material of the
moment, but Doxey said it's not a cure-all. PCR might be a good fit for
some stages of a package's lifecycle, but not others.
" It's not enough just to check one box. You have to address its effects
on the other (stages). "
In today's packaging world, she added, a one-size-fits-all
approach won't work. PCR may be the answer for some
commodities, but bio-based solutions like cellulose
might be the answer for others.
Jac Vandenberg has had success recently
with cellulose packaging for citrus, which
has a reputation for being hard to package in
recyclable materials, Paap said.
HELP WANTED
Selling young people on a career in produce
Finding enough workers not only to pick and
process fruits and vegetables but to work all
the way up the supply chain to retail grocery
continues to be a major industry challenge, said
panelists at an Oct. 19 session, " Getting the
Job Done with a Changing Produce & Floral
Workforce. "
John Hollay, IFPA's director of US Government
Relations, said that while some in the ag industry
are " desperate to maintain the past, " fresh
produce is " the industry of the future. "
" There is a place for everyone in the industry -
they may just not know it's here. "
One of the ways to attract more people to
produce, said Doug Bohr, IFPA's chief education
and programs officer, is to show them how the
industry is a perfect platform for applying skills
in what could be considered by some to be more
interesting areas, e.g. in robotics or AI.
And instead of emphasizing the job itself, Bohr
said, if future employees can learn about the
impact the job will have on the world, that also
could pique their interest.
When you combine that with the people-first
nature of produce, many young people find it's a
win-win.
" This is a relationship-based industry, and a lot of
people realize, 'This is the place I'd like to be.' "
Other panelists stressed the importance of
opening up opportunities in produce to people
of color and others who may not be exposed to
the different aspects of agriculture.
" One of the biggest problems is that ag is not
part of every K-12 program in the country, "
said Antonio McLaren, vice president for
program innovation for the 1890 Universities
Foundation. " Kids need to know that food
doesn't come from the grocery store. "
supermarketperimeter.com
DECEMBER 2023 - 45
Packaging experts
discussed the tricky
balance between
sustainability and
practicality.
http://www.supermarketperimeter.com

Supermarket Perimeter - December 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Supermarket Perimeter - December 2023

Supermarket Perimeter - December 2023 - Intro
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2023 - 1
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2023 - 2
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2023 - 3
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2023 - 4
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2023 - 5
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2023 - 6
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2023 - 7
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2023 - 8
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2023 - 9
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2023 - 10
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2023 - 11
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2023 - 12
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2023 - 13
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2023 - 14
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2023 - 15
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2023 - 16
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2023 - 17
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2023 - 18
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2023 - 19
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2023 - 20
Supermarket Perimeter - December 2023 - 21
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