Sirane keen to help companies meet food waste targets

Packaging can help keep fresh produce fresh

Food packaging expert Sirane has welcomed a pledge to significantly cut household food waste – and vowed to continue its work to find solutions that will help.

Sirane – an innovative packaging development and manufacturing company with a growing reputation in shelf-life extension – already has a number of packaging solutions that will help reduce food waste, both within the supply chain and the household.

Last week 45 signatories, including all the major grocery retailers and many leading brand manufacturers, signed up to the third phase of the Courtauld Commitment.

And the message from Sirane is simple – we’re already working on projects that will enable the Courtauld 3 aims to become reality, and are happy to work on developing additional solutions for the industry, just let us know the problems which need solving.

Courtauld Commitment Phase 3 targets are:

• Reduce household food and drink waste by 5% - this represents a 9% reduction in real terms to counter the expected increase in food purchased

• Reduce traditional grocery ingredient, product and packaging waste in the grocery supply chain by 3% - signatories will have to make an 8% reduction in real terms to counter the expected increase in production and sales.

• Improve packaging design through the supply chain to maximise recycled content as appropriate, improve recyclability and deliver product protection to reduce food waste, while ensuring there is no increase in the carbon impact of packaging - signatories will have to make a 3% reduction in real terms to counter the expected sales increase.

Simon Balderson, Sirane’s MD, said: “Courtauld 3 wants retailers to ensure packaging develops and evolves. Not only is it possible to reduce packaging waste significantly, but it’s also possible to reduce food waste significantly with more advanced packaging.

“For many years now that’s what Sirane has been striving to do and we’ve had some major successes in the last 12 month. We’ve already worked on technology that will enable people to move towards achieving the aims of Courtauld 3 and beyond.

“Courtauld 3 might seem daunting, but our message is clear. We can help. This is exactly the sort of area of work that gets us excited. Bring us your packaging problems and we might have a solution – and if we haven’t we will work on developing one.”

The signatories of Courtauld 3 are aiming to reduce food waste by 1.1 million tonnes by 2015, bringing £1.6 billion cost benefits to consumers and industry. However, the ambitious new targets must be achieved against a back drop of sales growth and an increase in the amount of food produced in the UK – as well as a difficult financial climate.

“Many companies may look at Courtauld 3 and think it will cost them more money,” said Mr Balderson, “but using more advanced technology can actually save companies money in the long-run, as they’ll get money back from reduced wastage and returns.”

To achieve the targets, signatories must help consumers reduce waste in the home. This will include delivering targeted food waste reduction initiatives, clearer product labelling and improved packaging design, while also tackling supply chain waste.

“Sirane already has a number of products that will help,” said Mr Balderson. “Our shelf-life bags and films, for example, can significantly extend shelf-life in fresh produce. This benefit can be passed right through the chain – from the grower through to the customer.

“We’ve had some remarkable results with significant shelf-life extension for strawberries, salads, cucumbers, mushrooms and potatoes among other things – all items that end up getting thrown out by not only customers but by retailers as well.

“Other products, such as our anti-fungal and ethylene absorbent pads for fruit, will also contribute massively to reducing the amount of food wasted right through the chain.

“We’ve also developed odour-absorbent pads which have been used very successfully in vac-packed lamb, among other things. These pads have soaked up the ‘containment odour’ and stopped customers wrongly thinking that the meat is off and returning it.

“This is just a snap-shot of the types of initiatives that Sirane has been working on. We’re prepared and ready to help with Courtauld 3, and are in many ways ahead of the game.”

The Courtauld Commitment has already made a difference. To date, 2.3 million tonnes of waste has successfully been prevented by the Courtauld signatories and consumers during the first two phases of the Commitment. The value of waste prevented is around £3.5bn. The final results of Courtauld Commitment 2 will be announced later this year.

Dr Liz Goodwin, WRAP’s CEO, said: “Courtauld 3 builds on the achievements of Courtauld 1 and 2 by tackling the areas that bring the greatest financial benefits to UK plc and deliver significant reduction in environmental impact.

“Over the course of the three phases of the agreement, a 20% reduction in UK household food waste is achievable, a deeply impressive outcome.”

For more information on Sirane and how the company could help your business play its part in the Courtauld Commitment 3, call 01952 230055 or visit www.sirane.com

Retail range heading for Ludlow Spring Festival

Thinking-Cooking – the new retail range from Sirane – will have a stand at the Ludlow Spring Festival on Sunday, May 12th.

Quality steam cooking bags for the oven or microwave, fresh produce bags offering significant shelf-life extension and slow-cooker liners will be among the range on sale.

The Thinking-Cooking range has been developed by Telford-based food packaging development company Sirane Ltd to allow home users to buy innovative cooking products direct, and to allow smaller retailers to easily add value to their sales.

The range features the popular Si-bag Meal-Maker – which has been sold direct to the public for a while – alongside the Baby & Toddler Meal-Pouch, Fat-Trap, Roasting Bags, Potato-Bakers, Shelf-Life Bags, Deli-Bags, and Slow-Cooker Liners.

“This is a first foray for us into the world of food festivals,” said Ruth Mason, sales executive for Thinking-Cooking. “We’re looking forward to what hopefully should be a busy day.

“It will be great to meet customers face-to-face and explain our products.”

All Thinking-Cooking items either reduce cooking times, cleaning times, or the amount of food thrown out, as well as allowing for healthier food in a simple, convenient way.

“Thinking-Cooking has brought to the kitchen table a number of items which will truly make people’s life easier,” said Ruth. “People will wonder how they ever did without.”

“This range of products is about convenience, simplicity, taste and cutting waste. Whether it is cutting energy bills because your oven is on for an hour less, or cutting down on the washing up, Thinking-Cooking has thought about what will help.

“People lead busy lives, but still want good food. Money is tight in many families, so they want food to last. Thinking-Cooking has looked at problems and found solutions.

“They are also healthy solutions, cooking bags for example help significantly with portion control, Fat-Traps will reduce the amount of fat with items such as sausages.

“Steam cooking can also be a requirement for medical reasons, but being able to find a cooking bag that will still leave the user with a tasty meal has not always been easy.

“We’ll also soon be adding a new product to the range – a barbecue bag which allows meat, poultry, seafood or vegetables to be sold with a marinade or sauce in a bag that the customer can throw straight on the barbecue – or in the oven if the weather turns.”

The Si-bag Meal-Maker is an ovenable or microwaveable cooking bag, which seals in all the juices and flavours and allows healthy eating and fast food to be combined. The Baby & Toddler Meal Pouch will similarly allow healthy food to be cooked fast.

Thinking-Cooking Roasting Bags are available for both turkeys and chickens, and will crisp up the bird perfectly, stop it from drying out, and significantly reduce the cooking time.

Fat-Traps can be used on oven-grills to soak up the fat – healthier food and less cleaning – while Slow-Cooker Liners will also cut down on the hated washing-up.

Fresh: Shelf-Life Bags and Fresh: Deli-Bags will offer significant shelf-life extension, with the Shelf-Life Bags – available in two sizes - suitable for all fresh produce.

Ruth added: “Trials of the Shelf-Life Bags in a commercial environment have shown some astonishing results – shelf-life extension of five days or more. So we thought why not sell the bags directly to home-users, so they can put their own fruit or veg in.”

The bags can be used not only for fresh produce but also for prepared vegetables.

Shelf-life extension of more than eight additional days has been achieved with tomatoes, an additional week with cucumbers, and more than two additional weeks with green beans.

You can follow on Twitter @ThinkingCooking and also at facebook.com/ThinkingCooking

Email ruth@thinking-cooking.com if you would like more information on the range. The full range can be seen – and purchased – from www.thinking-cooking.com

The Ludlow Spring Festival is open from 10am-5pm on Sunday, May 12th.

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    Sirane's divisions - food packaging, medical, horticultural and industrial

    Sirane Ltd. Stafford Park 6, Telford, Shropshire, TF3 3AT. Telephone +44 (0)1952 230055