Peri & Sons Farms, Warren Packaging take sustainable onion packaging to the next level
Sustainable packaging has never been more top of mind with today’s eco-centric consumer, and Peri & Sons Farms is extending the sustainable practices from its fields to the retail shelf. The Yerington, NV-based onion shipper has employed sustainable practices for three generations. Well before it was a trend, owner David Peri understood that the livelihood of the business, and of those who depended on its success, was directly tied to the health and well-being of the environment. “We continue to push the industry for more sustainable packaging options, and we are transitioning in that direction as fast as we can,” stated Teri Gibson, director of marketing for Peri & Sons Farms.
As quickly as possible, the company intends to transition to more biodegradable/compostable packaging. “We’re seeking packaging solutions that support and align with our Certified Sustainable Farming mission,’ continued Gibson. “That means moving away from traditional mesh/plastic packaging to single stream recycle packaging.” This move to more sustainable packaging is in line with zero-waste initiatives that many retailers are embracing.
In order to achieve this, Peri & Sons has embarked on a sustainable packaging initiative with Warren Packaging out of Ontario, CA. “ Peri & Sons has been a great partner of ours for several years, and we have enjoyed being a part of their innovation and supporting their desire to bring new concepts to the industry and consumers,” said Mike Dittenber, business development for Warren Packaging, who has a sustainability mission of it own. “It is our desire to supply and raise awareness to produce industry growers, distributors and retailers of more sustainable packaging options such as paper clamshells.”
The two companies worked together to produce Peri & Sons’ new high-graphic paper clamshell. There were a number of challenges to overcome, including the fact that Peri already has a large capital investment in packaging machinery geared to run traditional plastic packaging. “Working with packaging machinists to make equipment alterations to run new materials can be a difficult process,” explained Gibson, who went on to outline other factors such as examining the impact new packaging has on produce visibility, quality, and shelf life and the need to convince customers and consumers to support the additional cost of sustainable packaging.
“Initially when we introduced sustainable (paper) clamshells to the industry, one of the main concerns was visibility of the produce,” added Dittenber. “We have since developed paper clamshells with cellulose window material (100 percent recyclable and biodegradable) which gives us and our partners the ability to show off the product inside of the clamshells while maintaining sustainability.” Warren Packaging has been testing materials alongside their produce partners in order to determine which available materials hold up best in the packing, cooling, and storage processes within the produce industry.
“Peri & Sons Farms puts great effort into branding and sustainability,” said Dittenber, “which made this a perfect project for us to work on together.” Not only do the new clamshells offer the earth-friendly aspect the company was looking for, but it gave Peri & Sons much greater opportunity for branding and graphics than a typical plastic clamshell would offer.
“We’re supporting new emerging packaging technologies that appeal to today's ecoconscious consumer, because it’s the right thing to do. We’re proud to work with like-minded companies like Warren Packaging to bring innovative options to the produce market,” concluded Gibson. “Our new onion packaging and displays are beautiful, practical, efficient and sustainable.”