Earthcycle ™ Shares FPC Fresh Award for CSR Excellence with G’s Fresh Mushrooms

For Immediate Release

Earthcycle ™ Shares FPC Fresh Award for CSR Excellence with G’s Fresh Mushrooms

CKF’s Earthcycle ™ brand of moulded fibre packaging for fresh produce integral to G’s Fresh Mushrooms win for CSR Excellence

HANSPORT, NS (June 26th, 2018) – Two years ago CKF and G’s Fresh Mushrooms began working together to elevate mushroom packaging to the demands of the 21st century. Mushroom packaging has seen little innovation over the past 20 years. The traditionally used plastic punnet wrapped with PVC has no positive impact on the shelf life of mushrooms; the PVC overwrap is a material deemed undesirable for packaging by many retailers and brands and consumers are increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of plastics on ocean litter when not recycled properly.

G’s set high expectations in developing new packaging for its mushrooms: the new package would need to appeal to the consumer’s desire for less plastic while meeting packaging automation speeds and shelf life of plastic punnets.

CKF’s thermoformed moulded pulp line, Earthcycle ™ meets the ambitious demands—the material is plastic free, certified home compostable and is easily recyclable in the waste paper stream. Through extensive pre-commercial testing and a wide commercial trial in Tesco stores in the UK, it was proven that packaged in Earthcycle, mushrooms stay fresher, longer—20% longer than when packed in plastic. With current estimates of over 2,300 tons of mushrooms waste per year due to product expiration, having added time to consume fresh mushrooms helps to reduce this food waste and associated costsi.

G’s is also first to market in adopting top seal packaging technology for mushrooms using moulded pulp punnets—so as to achieve production speed parity with plastic. Top seal film for moulded pulp was developed and perforation structures designed to enable moisture to respire at the optimal rate to prolong freshness in the mushrooms.

The CSR Excellence Award is given to a company that has demonstrated a measureable sustainable impact on their own operations and on the industry. In recognizing G’s with the Excellence in CSR award for the top sealed moulded pulp punnet, Nigel Jenny, Chief Executive of the FPC, says that the “pioneering work makes a strong environmental statement whilst improving its product and reducing waste.”

“There has to be a compelling reason for change—in our case we want to deliver longer lasting mushrooms to the consumer with less plastic and provide quantifiable sustainable innovation to our retail partner” says James Meers, Commercial Director for G’s Fresh. “In our commercial trial alone with Tesco we were able to avoid the use of close to 40 metric tons of plastic by using the Earthcycle punnets and provide our consumers longer lasting mushrooms while maintaining production efficiencies”.

“Our working partnership with G’s could not have been better” says Brad Dennis, CKF’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Their technical and sales team’s dedication to results is a key reason for the award and we are honored to have been a part of the journey”.

Dr. Mark Caul, Packaging Manager at Tesco added, ‘’the punnet is a clear win-win for customers and the environment. Customers were delighted to see less plastic on the shelf and I am personally pleased to be able to remove a PVC stretch film. It has also been a delight to work with both G’s and CKF in order to innovate packaging, to challenge the status quo and deliver a package that offers demonstrable food waste savings .’’

About CKF Inc.

CKF Inc. is a diversified Canadian-owned manufacturer that proudly offers a wide range of

moulded pulp, foam and rPET products to meet the specific demands of retail consumers, food service operators and the packaging industry. CKF is part of the Scotia Investments Group of Companies.

R.A. Jodrey established Canadian Keyes Fibre Company Limited in the summer of 1933, during the worst of the Great Depression years. The Company began with a single plant in Hantsport, NS – manufacturing pie plates and cake circles for bakeries. CKF has experienced uninterrupted growth since its establishment and now operates 5 plants across the country—Hantsport, Rexdale, two in Langley and Delta—employing over 700 people. Nationally recognized brand Royal Chinet® is one of CKF’s best known products and stands as a symbol for many Canadians of family, friends and joyous occasions.

About G’s Fresh Mushrooms

i WRAP UK Packaging trial for tackling mushroom waste in the home, 2014

G’s Fresh Ltd. is a family owned and run farming business that was founded by Guy Shropshire in 1952. Into its 3rd generation, the family is still very much involved in the day to day running and strategy of the business.

The heart of the business is based in the Fens of Cambridgeshire, England, but has grown internationally– during peak seasons G’s employs up to 7,000 people.

As one of the largest salad producers in Europe we farm over 13,000 hectares of crops; which include lettuce, celery, spring onions, beetroot, onions and of course mushrooms.

We are proud to be able to offer our customers a vertically integrated mushroom business where we are the grower and marketing agent; this helps us be at the forefront of the industry to innovate and drive change. Making plans to change packaging in a category that hasn’t seen changes for decades has been difficult, but through the relationship with CKF we have been able to make head way on this which will benefit mushroom quality and the environment – both of which are crucial to the end consumer.