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Shoppers are increasingly interested in sustainable packaging, with 75% of Brits saying they are motivated to live a sustainable life according to the latest EIT Trust Report.
This is evidenced by the popularity of ethical, sustainable farming delivery boxes, as Lydia Thompson, marketing director at Eversfield Organic explained, “Many are drawn to us for their groceries due to our sustainable farming practices, choice of suppliers and delivery methods, all of which culminate in a shopping experience that is less impactful on the environment.
“Being sustainable is of growing importance for most customers today; as awareness of climate change increases, more people are turning to environmentally friendly options.”
In fact, according to Josie Morris, managing director at Woolcool, pioneers of sustainable temperature-controlled packaging, consumers are looking to companies to improve the sustainability of their offering as much as they can, and studies have shown that they are more likely to spend more when they buy from a company that uses sustainable packaging.
But how can retailers and producers provide ways for their stock to arrive safely and sustainably over the Christmas period?
The importance of sustainability
Because sustainability is so high on consumers’ agenda, it is important that both producers and retailers focus on environmentally-friendly options.
As Hannah Anderson, managing director of ethical online food retailer 44 Foods, explained, “It’s no secret that the food industry has been a big contributor to the global climate crisis, but within the sector, we’re striving to do better.
“We’ve seen a shift in the last few years with farmers and producers opting for more sustainable food production practices and, for the most part, amongst consumers there is growing awareness about the carbon footprint of our food. We can’t solve all of the issues overnight but it seems to be moving forward.
“As a retailer, it’s important to say that even small changes are a step in the right direction. Whether that’s making a switch to more environmentally friendly packaging or making a commitment to only working with suppliers who are dedicated to sustainability, one small change can make a big difference in the long run.
“Ultimately, for things to truly change, we need to take a more transparent and collaborative approach within the food industry to make sure that the supply chain is not only fairer to producers and consumers, but fairer to the environment.”
Lydia added, “With climate change and global warming currently being extremely pressing issues, it is important for fine food producers and retailers to provide quality, environmentally friendly food.
“Often customers can be put off buying more sustainably, seeing it as being more difficult than simply visiting the supermarket, and so fine food producers are key to making sustainable grocery options accessible to customers.
“It is crucial that fine food producers and retailers lead the way for sustainability, showing that food can be produced and packaged by methods that don’t have as detrimental an impact on the environment.”
Choosing eco-friendly packaging
When choosing what packaging to use for sending out stock this Christmas, it is important to get the balance right between sustainability and safety.
As Josie explained, “The superior performance of Woolcool means that we can utilise less material within our packaging, and fewer ice packs are required, reducing material waste.
“We have designed our packaging to harness the amazing natural properties of 100% pure sheep’s wool, which means high-performing insulation, flexible protection from the hurdles of courier delivery, and moisture absorption to deliver your chilled and frozen foods in perfect condition. While we have a standard range available, we work with each customer individually, so that we can tailor the solution to your specific needs.
“Sheep’s wool is completely compostable and more importantly, available in abundance. Woolcool is also reusable, recyclable or returnable – we were the first packaging company in our sector to set up a circular economy scheme, where your customers can return their packaging to us, to be turned into more Woolcool if they don’t have a use for it around the home or garden!”
Eversfield Organic uses Woolcool for its deliveries. Lydia told Speciality Food, “Ensuring that our packaging has as little environmental impact as possible is a priority of ours, so we can deliver fresh, organic food without harming the planet in the process.
“Our cardboard boxes are made from recycled pulp and are fully recyclable themselves. We even use sustainable packaging to keep customer orders cool and fresh with Woolcool liners that are not only biodegradable and compostable but reusable too.”
For 44 Foods, recycled packaging is also hugely important, as Hannah explained, “We use recycled and recyclable materials wherever possible, so almost everything from the innovative insulated i-paper bags we use for our chilled items through to the cardboard we use in our boxes can either be collected as part of your general household recycling or re-used around the home.
“We actively encourage our customers to re-use our packaging and we often get messages where they’ll share the weird and wonderful ways they’ve made use of the materials. We’ve seen everything from packing wool used in the garden to protect plants from slugs to foil used as ceiling insulation – our customers are a thrifty bunch!”
When deciding how to send out stock safely and sustainably this Christmas, look out for pioneering brands offering an environmentally responsible solution to satisfy this growing consumer demand.
Christmas content supported by Woolcool – the pioneers of sustainable temperature-controlled packaging.