Two years ago, Sambrailo introduced an innovative packaging product that is both earth friendly and recycle stream ready. One hundred percent recyclable, constructed with food-grade adhesives and printed with vegetable-based inks, ReadyCycle™ is fully printable on all surfaces eliminating the need for labels and added adhesives.
According to Sara Lozano, marketing manager at Sambrailo, organic producers have played a big role in ReadyCycle™ growth as the demand for organic fresh produce has increased, and subsequently, the demand for organic branded and sustainable packaging.
Sara Lozano, Marketing Manager of Sambrailo
“This is the third growing season we are offering ReadyCycle™ packaging as more growers are making the switch, especially those using traditional polyethylene pint baskets used for cherry tomatoes and berries,” Lozano said. “With our packaging, a consumer can learn who the grower is and look for that grower’s product again at the store.”
She said retailers are asking for less plastic on the products sold in the produce department, and, in turn, are reaching out to grower-shippers for ways to reduce plastic. “With the growth in earth friendly and recyclable options like ReadyCycle™, plastic consumption can go down while positive consumer feedback goes up throughout the entire supply chain,” she said.
Tom Broz of Live Earth Farms was one a keynote speaker at the recently held Eco Farms event in Monterey, CA and spoke on how ReadyCycle™ has made a tremendous impact to his organization. He believes it has created more brand loyalty while reducing plastic use and that has been transformational for his CSA and farm stand business.
One berry grower who was instrumental in the launch and success of ReadyCycle packaging was Javier Zamora of JSM Organics. He began packing berries in a one –pound ReadyCycle™ basket and sent them to retailers including Bi-Rite Market, Briar Patch, Sacramento COOP and Good Earth Market. As one of the first growers to pack berries in ReadyCycle™, Zamora said the switch gave him the opportunity to expand his brand and gain recognition-----while retailers have applauded his approach to limiting plastic waste.
“I think more farmers should be paying attention to this, as a lot of people are fed up with plastic,” Zamora said. “This is a good way to be sustainable and help eliminate plastic usage and conserve our natural resources. It’s expensive but it pays off with getting more customers.”
Jim and Deborah Durst from Durst Organic Growers were also one of the early adopters. In 2017 they converted their entire cherry tomato pint program over to ReadyCycle™ and eliminated all their plastic baskets. As a result it’s not uncommon for them to receive messages from customers solely about their sustainable packaging.
Lozano said when Sambrailo hears these success stories, they know they are moving in the right direction with both retailers and consumers. “We know we are riding the sustainability wave and staying on the right track. We want organic consumers not to have to think twice if their packaging will be biodegradable and an intuitive option,” she said.
ReadyCycle™ , Lozano concluded, allows Sambrailo to continue its history of innovation and take an approach that starts with the consumer, while taking care of the produce though the entire supply chain.