Aug 31, 2021

The Home Compostable Choice

This train has left the station, but our journey is far from over. Sinclair are extremely proud to have developed and launched a new independently certified Home Compostable fruit label this year – Sinclair EcoLabel – HOME. We’ve been up and down the county during 2021 applying this new product to fruit, mainly focused on apples and kiwifruit to date but we will be expanding to all fruit categories just as soon as we can. The product is looking good on apples but certainly presenting some performance challenges on kiwifruit. The new material is more rigid and not inclined to conform as well to fruit as our micro thin materials used today.

Governments are beginning to legislate around fruit labels. From 1st January 2022 France will only accept Home Compostable fruit labels, Belgium from 2025 with interim measures in place from 2022 and New Zealand will introduce legislation from 2023. This is not a ban on fruit labels but a restriction on what materials and criteria can be used for producing fruit labels, essentially labels will need to be Home Compostable on domestically sold fresh produce.

The question is often thrown my way; “if we can place a man on the moon surely, we can produce home compostable fruit labels that perform as well as today’s products?” And it’s a good question with no simple answer except to say; it is complex. On one hand the label needs to break down in a natural way in the back yard and on the other hand we want a product to support the rigour of the global supply chain and last perhaps up to 12 months in and out of various temperatures. It is complex but we are up for this challenge and our development continues and new products will come to market.

Our GM is heavily involved with a range of industry stakeholders through a taskforce headed up by United Fresh. This is keeping us close to the action on a regulatory front and we will keep everyone fully informed along the way.

This post was written by

Tom McLaughlin

Tom has always had an affinity for New Zealand’s primary industries and a passion for business, and is charged with delivering the Sinclair fruit labelling program at Jenkins.