Britain’s first berry supplier to use new SPA Airlite punnet

Britain’s first berry supplier to use new SPA Airlite punnet

Angus Soft Fruits become Britain’s first berry supplier to import strawberries using new SPA Airlite punnet.

We are the first UK company to import berries using an award-winning-new reduced-plastic punnet that cushion the berries to improve quality and recyclability.

The SPA Airlite punnet, designed by Sharpak Aylesham, for strawberries during our 2022-23 import season, starting with Dutch strawberries this autumn – a move that follows a successful pilot using the packaging for our Scottish strawberries during the summer of 2022.

The punnet, which won ‘Rigid Pack of the Year’ at the UK Packaging Awards in 2021, has a cushioned base that protects the berries and eliminates the need for an additional bubble pad, making the packaging full recyclable and cutting plastic weight by up to 20%.

We estimate that it could reduce the amount of plastic in import packaging for Dutch strawberries by around 5.72 tonnes a year.

The punnets, which also contain up to 80% recycled content, are available for 227g and 250g packs with plans to trial and potentially roll out additional sizes in future.

Some larger packs will still use bubble pads, but we are working closely with our packaging suppliers to remove the pads where possible to aid recycling while ensuring the berries are still protected.

Our sustainability manager Dr Catherine Russell said: “We are passionate about promoting a high standard of environmental trade practices across our farming and packing operations in the UK and overseas.

Packaging is just one of our five focus areas, which include carbon footprint reduction, supporting biodiversity, managing food waste, responsible packaging and changing behaviors.”

“The Team at Angus Soft Fruits are creatively dynamic, extremely knowledgeable and incredibly hardworking but also awesome fun! - Jill Witheyman, Marketing Manager ASF