Verdifresh seeks circularity and revaluation of its healthy food packaging

10, October, 2022

cluster container

Caption: Amaya Fernández, president of the Cluster; María Forcada, Director of Innovation at Verdifresh; Fernando Garrido, director of EOI Mediterráneo, and Javier Mínguez, head of the Companies and Associations Area at IVACE. verdifresh, food group company foodiversespecialist in the development and preparation of salads and fresh vegetables ready to eat or cook, has explained its policy and challenges regarding packaging in a new edition of the Breakfasts of the Innovation Cluster in Container and Packaging. This activity has been possible thanks to funding from the Ministry of Sustainable Economy, Sectors Productius, Comerç i Treball of the Generalitat Valenciana.

Verdifresh's Director of Innovation, Maria Forcada, explained that innovation is its "main ingredient, for which we actively collaborate with prestigious technology centers and universities, as well as with our suppliers and customers". Regarding the company's packaging strategy, Forcada explained that Verdifresh's fresh product "has a very short shelf life, so good planning and quality raw materials are essential" to maintain high standards of freshness and safety. food throughout the entire process of harvesting, processing and packaging until it reaches the shelves. In this sense, he has explained that they manufacture more than 160 references in four factories distributed throughout different parts of Spain, since "logistics is key to the success of the product".

The Director of Innovation at Verdifresh has commented that the company seeks "circularity and the revaluation of all the material we use, for which, among others, we opted for recyclable plastic, which allows the incorporation of recycled material". “Currently 92% of the plastics we use are already recyclable”, she assured. In this line, she assures that, today, in her sector, this material provides greater food safety, quality, maintenance of organoleptic properties and avoids waste.

He has also commented that they have a "roadmap for the optimization of materials of each family, in designs, thicknesses and in the use of alternative materials". Along these lines, he explained the achievements obtained by Verdifresh in recent years, such as a 20% reduction in material in trays for hot dishes, optimization of the thickness of PET trays and the introduction of forks made of different materials, more recyclable, or directly without plastic, bamboo. In addition, in recent months, Verdifresh has marketed biodegradable PLA and paper salad bags Kraft, and cardboard salad bowls.

The company's Director of Innovation has also added that they are constantly testing packaging made from other materials such as cardboard or biodegradable materials developed by their suppliers to meet customer needs and, as a final strategy, has stressed that communication is very important: "We must inform about the improvements implemented and do a lot of pedagogy with the consumer, so that subsequent recycling is effective."

open innovation

To talk about the possibilities of carrying out innovation projects, the head of the Companies and Associations Area at IVACE, Javier Mínguez, and the director of EOI Mediterráneo, also took part in the Breakfast. Fernando Garrido. In their speech, they presented Activate Startups, an open innovation program that finances SMEs projects carried out together with startups with an amount of up to €40.000. It is an initiative of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism framed in the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, with the financing of NextGenerationEU, which has the collaboration of the General Directorate of Enterprise.

Finally, the latest companies that have entered the Cluster have also participated, such as Envasef, Flexan and Ródenas y Rivera.

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