Dairy Processing - November/December 2022 - 44

GRANTS TO SUPPORT
PACKAGING
INNOVATIONS
The Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center
announced five dairy processors are set to
receive a total of $1.1 million in funding through
the Dairy Product Packaging Innovation Grant.
The NE-DBIC
established the
funding
structures made of mono-materials that can only be
recycled if the recycling infrastructure for such materials
is present.
Overall, the responsibility to increase recyclability
lands on the companies. Mintel reports 47% of US
consumers expect brands to do more than governments to
increase the amount of packaging that is recycled.
As regional sales manager for North America with the
Verstraete division of Multi-Color Corporation, Batavia,
Ohio, Brian Roske said the company is beginning to
see a switch among frozen dairy processors from using
carboard to using polypropylene packaging with in-mold
labels to create a mono-material package. He said
European manufacturers have already made this switch,
and the trend there is to also include embellishments on
labels and packaging.
This switch involves significant resources, but
Roske said companies have been willing to make those
investments. He said while some companies are stating
specific objectives related to plastic reduction and
incorporating more paper, that doesn't mean the resulting
product will actually be more recyclable. Other companies
are taking the opposite approach and using polypropylene
in everything to create a fully mono-material container.
" We will see a switch from paperboard packaging and
hybrid lids to a fully decorated polypropylene container
and lid, " Roske said. " This will then allow for more eyecatching
graphics using our foils and coatings. "
The switch to polypropylene containers will also
give brands a chance to create unique shapes for their
ice cream containers, and Roske said there will be
increased innovation around design as a result. This can
create an opportunity for differentiation among products
that generally all come in similar sizes and shapes of
containers.
Randy Austin, director of North America product line
DAIRYPROCESSING.COM | NOV-DEC 2022 43
program to support projects that will impact
dairy product and supply chain packaging by
reducing the use of virgin plastics.
The grant funds will go toward research,
packaging development and analyzing
consumer receptiveness. The research and
findings will be shared amongst all of the grant
recipients. The NE-DBIC shared that the idea
behind the program is to make sustainable
dairy packaging solutions more accessible,
particularly for smaller and medium-sized
processors.
The grant funds are going to five companies:
* Agri-Mark, Inc./Cabot Creamery
Cooperative, Waitsfield, Vt.: $323,875
* Stonyfield Farm, Inc. (Lactalis US Yogurt),
Londonberry, NH: $300,000
* Vermont Creamery, LLC (Land O' Lakes),
Websterville, Vt.: $200,000
* Big Picture Farm, Townsend, Vt.: $147,800
* Cellars at Jasper Hill, Greensboro, Vt.:
$127,442
" These investments in dairy packaging look
to the future, " said Anson Tebbetts, Vermont's
secretary of agriculture. " Farmers and those
making dairy products are always thinking
about what's next. These dollars will help the
environment while making these businesses
more affordable and sustainable. We look
forward to seeing the new packaging come to
life. "
The NE-DBIC supports dairy businesses in
the Northeast, serving 11 states: Connecticut,
Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New
Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania,
Rhode Island and Vermont. It is funded through
the USDA and hosted by the Vermont Agency
of Agriculture, Food and Markets.
Through the years, the NE-DBIC has received
$31.72 million from the USDA-AMS Dairy
Business Innovation Initiative.
MCC Verstraete
http://www.DAIRYPROCESSING.COM

Dairy Processing - November/December 2022

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