Project aims at developing the own packaging unit for local and organic food. This creates added value for organic SME's competitiveness.
The starting point is that quality product needs high-class and environmentally friendly package. It is also purpose to develop new renewable bio based packaging materials as alternative for plastics.
The starting point to develop the package was to interview 18 actors from four different local and organic food chains (fish, meat, berries and mushrooms) in Southern Finland.
According the interviews an ideal food package for local and organic food is made of renewable materials and it has ecological characteristics. It should also better differentiate the product from conventional products and promote the brand.
By developing packages and packaging manufacturing systems it is possible to enhance distribution, marketing and export of local and organic food. The packaging unit, which is to be developed is applicable for different size conditions and different needs. Is should also be inexpensive.
Same packaging unit will prepare carton package, fill it up and close it and also make the quality control. As part of the project is also a development of new carton materials that will hinder bacteria growth, food safety and shelf life.
The funding of the project was granted from European Regional Development Fund by South Carelia, Uusimaa and Southwest Finland. The overall budget was about 980 000 euros. Other financiers were city of Lappeenranta, Imatra region development company and companies working within packaging value chain
Evidence of success
Results indicate that the electric actuator system had several key features compared to the hydraulic system that gave it a clear advantage, including high force production, accuracy and cost efficiency. This new technology enables environment friendly packing material to be used, especially in organic products' packages. For the consumer point of view, organic products using environmental friendly packaging material, are considered more desirable. This reinforces the growth capacity of SME's.
Potential for learning or transfer
In packaging industry there is a increased demand for fibre-based packaging solutions which present a renewable and environmentally friendly alternative for oil based materials. One of such materials is paperboard, and for example trays made of paperboard can be an alternative for traditionally used plastic trays in food packaging. This good practice strengthens the organic value of the whole product, including packaging.