LOSSES DUE TO CITRUS FRUIT DAMAGED IN TRANSIT TO BE CUT BY 75%
Every year in Europe, fruit and vegetables worth around 10 billion euro go to waste mainly due to poor quality packaging that cannot withstand the strains of the long journey from grower to retailer. Billerud is now able to offer improved box design, optimised selection of materials, measurement of quality during transportation and regular tests at Billerud Box Lab in order to substantially reduce losses linked to poor packaging during the transport of citrus fruit from Spain to Sweden.
Everfresh Group AB is one of Sweden’s leading fruit importers, supplying Swedish retailers with fruit and vegetables from every corner of the world. Everfresh has now extended its partnership with Anecoop, Europe’s leading supplier of citrus fruit. Both companies now intend to improve deliveries so that the amount of destroyed fruit is continually reduced.
“We are innovators. That means continuously asking questions about how we can operate faster, simpler and more cheaply. Working with Billerud is a natural step in our constant hunt for greater efficiency and a lower environmental impact. We have great hopes that we can reduce our handling costs and at the same time increase the amount of fruit that reaches the consumer. This is an agreement where everyone wins – including the environment,” says Jörgen Steen, Purchasing manager at Everfresh Group AB.
Billerud’s new service involves taking full responsibility for protecting the fruit all the way from the grower to the retailer. This covers everything from selecting the box materials, design and construction, to the actual handling of the boxes. Billerud will also take responsibility for measuring humidity and temperature during transportation, and will make sure research performed by Billerud Box Lab is made available to Everfresh.
“Co-operation with Everfresh is the result of many years of hard work. Taking the step of selling a service concept and not just paper is a stimulating and exciting development in line with our strategy. Extending and developing our business offer does not mean we will take over production of corrugated boxes. Production of boxes will take place in close co-operation with our customers,” explains Lennart Eberleh, business area manager for Packaging Boards.
Billerud Flute®, which is used for the base of the strongest corrugated boxes, is based on 100 per cent primary fibre and is sold all over the world to corrugated producers, mainly those focused on packaging for fruit and vegetables, meat and heavy duty packaging. In addition, Billerud sells liner that is used for the outer layer of corrugated board. Liner is also made of primary fibre, is suitable for direct contact with food and has the strength to withstand the most demanding transportation.
Everfresh is a part of Total Produce, one of Europe’s largest fruit and vegetable wholesalers. Total Produce is listed on the stock exchanges in Ireland and London, and has sales of around 2 billion euro. The Group has 3,900 employees and is active in 13 countries.
Solna, 24 January 2008
Billerud AB (publ)
President and CEO