ProducePack Positive

The Challenge

Coveris has worked with fruit and vegetable supplier Greencell as part of a collaborative Pack Positive project to innovate its packing process and retail packaging for avocados. The aim of the project was to extend ripe and ready-to-eat avocado shelf life, improve product quality and reduce both instore and consumer waste.

Pack Positive is Coveris’ environmental strategy focussed on improving resource efficiency, recyclability and product lifecycle. Sustaining product lifecycle, freshness and integrity is a unique and vital function of packaging and in line with Courtauld 2025 targets, Coveris supports a 20% reduction in UK food waste through packaging development collaboration with leading retailers and manufacturers.

The Solution

Additional shelf life is achieved from a unique combination of Greencell’s new patented UV technology with Coveris’ Freshlife® modified atmosphere (MAP) flow wrap film.

Found to reduce decay in ripe avocados, Greencell apply a short-wave ultraviolet (UV-C) treatment which is a chemical-free dry sanitation technique. Avocados are then packed using Freshlife® modified atmosphere (MAP) OPP 30mu film.

MAP film is typically used for high respiration produce types and characterised by micro-perforations that control in-pack atmosphere, helping to maintain product freshness and quality. Optimal permeability of film in combination with UV treatment for maximum shelf-life benefit was identified using scientific testing in Coveris’ on-site laboratory.

The avocado UV and MAP technology launched in January 2018 for Greencell’s supply of ripe avocados to Tesco and Waitrose.

The Benefits

  • At least two days of additional shelf life, benefitting retailers and consumers
  • 25% quality improvement in ripe and ready-to-eat avocados
  • Significantly reduced instore waste
  • Improved product availability and opportunity for increased sales
  • Effective supply chain collaboration to achieve shared environmental goals

The avocado UV and MAP technology launch was announced as winner of the Packaging Development Award at Tesco’s IGD Business Update 2018 and highlighted as an example of supply chain collaboration aligned with their strategy to eliminate instore waste.


About Greencell

Greencell is a wholly owned subsidiary of Westfalia Fruit International; one of the largest vertically integrated growers of avocados in the world. Greencell specialises in supplying fresh fruit and vegetables to the UK market focussing on quality in relationships, quality in taste and quality in appearance. Greencell sources produce from over 30 countries across all continents, working with the very best growers.