CKF Appoints Produce Packaging as UK Exclusive Distributors for Earthcycle ™

CKF’s Earthcycle ™ brand of home compostable and recyclable thermoformed moulded fibre packaging is now widely available in the UK market through Produce Packaging’s extensive on-the-ground distribution network

 HANSPORT, NS (November 27th, 2018) – CKF Inc., is proud to announce the appointment of Produce Packaging as the exclusive distributor of Earthcycle ™ in Wales, England and Scotland.  Established in 1991, Produce Packaging has created a reputation for fast, efficient service as well as market leading intelligence on industry and retail trends.  With key distribution points in Kent, Lincolnshire, Herefordshire and Angus, Scotland, Produce Packaging offers next day delivery with their own fleet of trucks.   “What initially attracted us to Produce Packaging were referrals from fresh produce packers and growers when we asked for names of the best distributors in the UK” says Brad Dennis, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for CKF.  “We then quickly realized that Produce Packaging is a quality organization with a wide distribution network and deep connections to the grower and retailer communities”, adds Dennis.

 CKF’s thermoformed moulded pulp line, Earthcycle ™ meets the growing consumer demand for less plastic—the packaging is certified home compostable, is widely recyclable in the UK waste paper stream and is plastic free.  Through extensive packing line trials, it has been proven that the Earthcycle punnets match automation speeds of plastic punnets for de-nesting and offers a consistent and strong bond in top sealing system.   In shelf and transit trials, it has been shown that packaged in Earthcycle, produce stays fresher, longer– 20% longer than when packed in plastic.  Made from a blend of virgin and wood pulp, Earthcycle is made with either FSC controlled or FSC certified wood sourced from “low risk” areas of Canada and the US.  Transit times to Produce Packaging’s Lincolnshire and Kent warehouses from the CKF plant is only 12 days. 

 “Produce Packaging is thrilled to be working with CKF and more specifically the Earthcycle range of packaging” say Mark Tierney, Managing Director of Produce Packaging.  “We see where the trends for reducing plastic in the packaging industry is going, and it is important for our company to be on the forefront of bringing innovation to our clients.  We believe that the Earthcycle line is superior in its design, finish and quality and so offers our clients the ability to easily incorporate the packaging into existing automatic de-nesting, top seal and other packaging format lines.” 

 CKF and Produce Packaging are dedicated to giving the UK consumer what they want—packaging that helps reduce waste to landfill and waste in oceans. 

 About Produce Packaging

 Produce Packaging is a division of H.L Hutchinson, a privately owned company that celebrates its 80th anniversary in 2018.  Produce Packaging offers next day delivery of food packaging materials from our nationwide depot network using our own fleet of purpose build vehicles.

 Providing the best possible level of customer service to both our supply partners and our customers is the corner stone of our business. We pride ourselves on bringing Innovative products from European and worldwide manufacturers to the UK Food production industries.

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.



A Market First — CKF Inc. and Associated Labels and Packaging Ltd. Unveil Peel and Reseal Lidding Film for Earthcycle ™ Products at the 2017 PMA Fresh Summit.

CKF’s Earthcycle ™ brand of certified compostable and recyclable moulded fibre punnets for fresh produce are now available with tamper evident peel and reseal top lidding film.

HANSPORT, NS (October 10th, 2017) – While peel and reseal top lidding film is a well established product in the fresh produce market, due to technical challenges, it has been limited in use to only plastic punnets. Through dedicated development by Associated Labels and Packaging Ltd. with CFK’s Earthcycle ™ product line, the companies are pleased to launch a new lidding film that strongly adheres to an Earthcycle ™ moulded pulp container but can be easily opened and then resealed with a light touch, multiple times. This is a first-in-market product for a peel and reseal lidding film for non-laminated moulded pulp packaging.

A peel and reseal film solution expands the use of the Earthcycle ™ punnets to larger club packs while making it even more consumer friendly. “A peel and reseal lidding solution has been on our target development list since we first presented a top sealed Earthcycle punnet in 2013” says Brad Dennis, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for CKF Inc. “We know that with more consumer demand moving towards snacking that a resealable lid is necessary.” Resealable lidding film also offers the consumer convenient storage while the packer and retailer can easily stack the packages in transit and at retail. Merchandising of the final produce is not compromised as the large top seal window provides maximum visibility with an environmentally responsible package.

“Environmental stewardship is a founding principle of our company” says Shaun Ashworth, President of Associated Labels and Packaging Ltd. “It is the reason that we gravitated to the Earthcycle product—with its solid environmental credentials. We wanted to find a way to extend the environmental benefits of the Earthcycle packaging to a wider market and to speak to growing retailer demands by offering a peel and reseal feature for our top lidding film.” An Earthcycle ™ punnet with a peel and reseal lidding film uses 90% less plastic than a comparable plastic clamshell which means a reduction in waste to landfill and an increased use of renewable resources.

Samples will be on display at PMA Fresh Summit in CKF Booth 5747 and will be featured in the “Fresh Ideas Showcase.” Representatives of both companies will be on hand to answer further questions on the new product.

A short video is available on Youtube which demonstrates the peel and reseal features.
Peel and Reseal Lidding Film for Earthcycle Products

Earthcycle Peel and Reseal Lidding Film Release_final

Earthcycle ™ Granted OK HOME Compost® Certification for Europe

CKF’s Earthcycle ™ brand of moulded fibre packaging for fresh produce furthers environmental credibility by achieving European HOME compost certification.
HANSPORT, NS (Sept 19th, 2017) – Following closely on CKF’s announcement of European compostability certification, the Company is pleased to announce that the Earthcycle ™ product line has been further qualified for Home compost situations. AB Vincotte is one of the certifying bodies for European compostability standards and administers the OK Home Compost brand.
Earthcycle’s European Home Compostability Certification complements its existing OK Compost, Din Certco and BPI Industrial Composting certifications. CKF believes it is important to offer consumers and businesses with a full range of disposal options, so invested in the HOME compost certification. Currently, there is no home compost certification for North America
“We know that home composting is an effective waste reduction tool. Not only does home composting offer waste collection savings to municipalities, but it also creates an excellent growing medium for use in consumer’s gardens and a great educational opportunity for kids” says Brad Dennis, Vice President of Sales and Marketing of CKF. According to research and policy think-tank WRAP, over 50% of household waste is comprised of organic materials, so making certified home compostable packaging available in the supply chain will make it easier for consumers to reduce overall waste to landfill while supporting European packaging waste reduction targets.

Earthcycle ™ Earns OK Compost® Certification for Europe

CKF’s Earthcycle ™ brand of moulded fibre packaging for fresh produce expands market acceptance by achieving European compostability certification according to EN 13432.
HANSPORT, NS (July 26, 2017) – In line with CKF’s vision to increase export markets for Earthcycle ™, the Company is pleased to announce that its line of moulded fibre packaging for produce is guaranteed to biodegrade in industrial compost settings, according to European standard EN 13432. AB Vincotte is one of the certifying bodies for European compostability standards and administers the OK Compost brand.
Earthcycle’s European compostability certification complements its existing North American certification through the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI). In addition to compostability for Europe, Earthcycle packaging complies with European food grade standards as reviewed by Smithers-Pira, UK.
“We welcome the strong support and regulatory requirements for composting in Europe as it helps strengthen waste reduction strategies on a national, local and personal level.” says Brad Dennis, Vice President of Sales and Marketing of CKF. According to research and policy think-tank WRAP, over 50% of household waste is comprised of organic materials, so making certified compostable packaging available in the supply chain will make it easier for consumers to reduce overall waste to landfill while supporting European packaging waste reduction targets.
“When we launched our trial with the Earthcycle punnet for mushrooms, it could be referred to only as recyclable because compostability testing was on-going. Now that the Earthcycle punnets are OK Compost certified, there is added value that we believe consumers will recognize and reward” says James Meers, Commercial Director at Gs Fresh Mushrooms.
Earthcycle packaging is undergoing further compostability testing in order to claim OK Home Compost certification. Results are expected by August 2017.

Earthcycle enters the UK market with custom designed mushroom packaging for Tesco

Our Earthcycle line of moulded fibre containers are uniquely well suited to package mushrooms– the material keeps the mushrooms moist and has proven to extend shelf life by at least 3 days, as compared to PP containers that are currently in use.  As the packaging is easily recycled and European compostability certification is around the corner, the value of the package to the retailer and end consumer is further expanded. See link below:


CKF Expands Earthcycle ™ Compostable Packaging Line with New Design in Support of Savoura Bio Organic Tomatoes

CKF worked closely with Serres Sagami to create a new design that supports the grower’s commitment to sustainability and innovation.

HANTSPORT, NS (November 21st, 2016) – CKF is excited to announce the commercial introduction of its newest Earthcycle ™ design—EC 118—created to support the re-branding of Serres Sagami’s Savoura Bio organic greenhouse tomatoes. The new flow wrapped Savoura Bio packaging, complete with a new logo and color, is now available in stores across Quebec.

“We love working with partners who share our vision to reduce waste and increase the use of recyclable and compostable packaging” says Brad Dennis, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for CKF. Dennis adds that “there is a consistency of message between organic produce and our Earthcycle ™ packaging so it was an easy decision to support Savour Bio’s products. We wish Serres Sagami continued success .”

Earthcycle ™ products are made from a blend of FSC sourced virgin and recycled fibre and are proudly manufactured in Hantsport, Nova Scotia. The packaging products are certified compostable and can be easily recycled with waste paper.

CKF’s Earthcycle ™ brand of compostable, recyclable and renewable packaging launches newest design for top seal at PMA Fresh Summit in Orlando, Florida.

HANSPORT, NS (October 12th , 2016) – Building upon the success of its Earthcycle ™ top sealable packaging for produce, CKF Inc. is pleased to announce the launch of a new bowl design called EC 808 that can be used with tomatoes, berries, cherries, grapes or take out salads.

The product was created to satisfy client demand for a larger format compostable bowl that can be top sealed. The product is designed to take advantage of existing top seal tool investments by industry as it can be seamlessly incorporated into production lines.

The Earthcycle ™ top sealable innovation leverages key trends in the fresh produce industry today—tamper resistant packaging using environmentally responsible materials. The combination of a top seal film with a moulded fiber base speaks to the consumer’s desire for reduced plastic use and materials that are recyclable, compostable and renewable. Research using external resources and internal data from CKF, demonstrates that the Earthcycle ™ base with a top seal film is 90% less plastic than a traditional clamshell, uses 22% less fossil fuel in the creation and has 53% less GHG emissions—all important measures for retailers to help substantiate sustainability efforts with their stakeholders.

The entire range of top seal products will be on display at the CKF booth, #276. Our valued partner, Red Sun Farms (Booth #400), will also be exclusively showcasing the new bowl design.

Samples of other Earthcycle top seal packaging will be on display at the Sunset booth (#3459) and Naturipe Farms LLC (#3529). Live demonstrations of top sealing to Earthcycle trays will be exhibited at the Dupont Teijin Films booth, #3091.

CKF will be exhibiting its entire range of moulded fiber, rPET and foam packaging for the fresh produce industry at booth #276.

CKF Announces $10 Million Expansion in Pulp Production Capacity

CKF is expanding its moulded pulp production at the Langley, BC plant to support business growth
HANTSPORT, NS (April 20th, 2016) – Leading Canadian food packaging company, CKF Inc. is excited to announce a significant investment in new rough moulded pulp production lines at its Langley, BC facility. The expansion will see an additional 65 million egg cartons produced annually.
“The decision to expand our production capacity is driven by our desire to help our North American egg packing customers keep pace with demand” says Ian Anderson, President of CKF. There is a shift in the North American diet that favors high protein foods, including eggs. According to Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, Canadians ate just over 18 dozen eggs per capita, in 2014, which is up almost 3 dozen per capita since 2009.
The Langley moulded pulp plant sources recycled paper and newspaper from the BC region and up-cycles the material into egg cartons and 4 cup carriers. All the packaging products are recyclable and BPI certified for compostablility. “Our investment in new production technology for moulded pulp is in line with our Sustainability Action Plan, which includes a goal that, by 2020, all our output is either recyclable or compostable” added Anderson.