TASMANIAN FARM: Berry Farm Avoids Single-USe Plastics

berries in biodegradable fruit trays

Seeking to reduce plastic consumption, Tasmania’s Westerway Raspberry Farm is using BioPak compostable packaging instead of conventional plastic.

Owned and operated by the Clark family, Westerway Raspberry Farm has been supplying thousands of kilograms of fresh and frozen raspberries, blackcurrants, blackberries and other seasonal soft fruits to Tasmanian and Australian markets for over 10 years. With over 150 acres of land under berry and soft fruit production, it’s amongst Australia’s largest soft fruit farms.

Like others, owner Richard Clark had watched the ABC’s War On Waste and found the volume of plastic consumed in Australia incredible. Being a berry producer, he understood the need for single-use packaging but felt concerned about where all the plastic ended up.

“I’d seen paperboard options used in Europe and wanted to find something locally available. And the strawberry punnets made from timber offcuts while sustainable were not available at the scale the farm required” Mr Clark said.

In a bid to reduce plastic packaging and make a positive difference, owner Mr Clark sought an alternative option and found BioPak compostable sugarcane trays were the perfect solution.

Customers are thrilled: “We’ve had feedback before that people love our product but they’d prefer it’s not in plastic. Since we’ve made the switch to compostable packaging all the people at the farm gates and farmers markets are really happy. It ties in with our values as a family farm – sustainably-grown raspberries packed in environmentally sustainable packaging.

BioPak CEO Gary Smith says “We’re delighted to be working with Westerway Berry Farm and impressed with the changes they’ve made. Replacing 30,000 PP 500ml plastic containers with pulp will eliminate 840 kg of plastic and will offset 690 tons of carbon emissions”.