Award Winning Innovation

UNIVEG is pleased to announce that it has won an award at last weeks prestigious M&S Plan A awards in London. UNIVEG received the Runner Up award in the ‘Innovation’ category; a joint project with Worldwide Fruit on shelf life extension earning the recognition. In fact UNIVEG had two entries in this category, both being shortlisted for the award:

Our first entry focused on the prime M&S objective of shelf life extension, targeting the associated benefits of waste reduction, increased availability & profitability. Key to extending shelf life is the control of Ethylene. Ethylene is a significant gas in the ripening, and ultimately the deterioration of packaged fruit. UNIVEG, in conjunction with fellow M&S supplier, Worldwide Fruit and packaging company Itsfresh! have developed high tech strips which are inserted into each pack. These strips are made from a blend of minerals and clay which absorb the Ethylene given off by the fruit, reducing the speed of breakdown, and therefore prolonging their shelf life. Trials on strawberries have been successful, with further product groups identified.

Our second entry was the energy and water saving technology installed at a new water treatment plant in France, served by water from a local river. Our partners Maître Prunille have integrated this new equipment to serve their whole production operation; the aim being to improve the rehydration process. Steam is generated from part of this process; this steam can now be collected and reused. Reusing the condensate saves on energy costs, while the closed loop process reduces the amount of fresh water used. Any unused water is returned to the river in a cleaner state than it was when extracted, improving water quality.

Plan A is M&S’s 180 point plan to be the world’s most sustainable retailer by 2015.

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