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India: Fresh produce finds new packaging solution with Prime

India: Fresh produce finds new packaging solution with Prime

AVI Global Plast unveils ‘Prime’ – a range of punnets/trays for fresh fruit and vegetables under its flagship brand “Prime”. Synonymous with Innovative Rigid Packaging Films, AVI Global Plast realizes the importance of fresh produce packaging in a dynamic and ever-evolving economy like India.

In India over the last decade or so, there has been a paradigm shift in the retail scenario – from door to door hawking to small shops and establishments, to organized retail and to online shopping. The marketplace has evolved at a very rapid pace but the mechanisms to support it have not kept up the pace, specially where packaging is concerned. “At AVI, we recognize the fact that growers and packers require better packaging to enhance product value for the end user – through better dynamics, aesthetics and provide longer shelf life to produce. At the same time, we have consciously endeavoured to retain cost dynamics and the ‘easy to handle’ features of our products,” explains Director Sukhdeep Sethi.

‘PRIME’ is the fresh new packaging solution for retailers, consumers, growers and packers that replaces traditional packaging to suit the ever-evolving retail scenario. It offers overall convenience to the retailer and delivers quality produce to the shopper. The products’ unique formation helps the fresh produce sustain multiple handling shocks and its vents allow free flow of air to keep the contents fresh for a longer duration.

AVI offers these products/punnets in PET and r-PET. Every product is made using 100% food grade raw materials, certified under EU and REACH norms. Besides, AVI’s production facility is IS0 22000 and BRC (under implementation) certified, keeping in mind global quality standards and requirements.

“Our range of products are readily available for a variety of products like grapes, strawberries, tomatoes, litchis, dates, pomegranate arils, baby corn, mushrooms, etc. In addition to this AVI has a state of the art infrastructure to develop new designs and implement new products as may be desired by the market, said Mr Sethi.

AVI Global Plast will be showcasing their range of products at the upcoming Fruit Logistica Show in Berlin, 5 to 7th February 2014. Hall 5.2/C-22.

For more information
Sukhdeep Sethi
AVI Global Plast
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +91 982 045 2598

Publication date: 1/6/2014
Author: Nichola Watson

Prime Time increases mini-sweet peppers

Prime Time Sales LLC in Coachella, CA, which specializes in bell peppers grown in both Mexico and the United States, first ran trials of mini-sweet peppers as an expansion of its line in mainland Mexico during the 2010-11 season, crossing the products into Nogales, AZ.

The trials went well, and the company increased production in 2011-12 and again in 2012-13, according to Mike Aiton, marketing manager.

This year, the company has again increased its mini-sweet pepper production, Aiton said Nov. 19. “We have never had as many mini-peppers in Mexico as we have this winter. That is one item we have grown considerably across the board, maybe 20 percent from last year.”

The little mini-sweets are typically about one and a half inches long, he said. Like the company’s full-sized colored bell peppers, the mini-sweets come in red, yellow and orange.


Mike Aiton

“Right now, the mini peppers are very active [with] very high prices,” Aiton said. “In advance of the holidays, the markets are high” as demand exceeds supply. “We are just now coming into what I would call good volume, and it is going to get bigger for us with every passing week,” he said. “[It is] a great item. We have quite a good following on that particular item right now.”

Apart from the mini-sweets, “our program is largely unchanged” from last year for the Nogales deal, Aiton said.

Prime Time’s Mexican production consists of red, yellow, orange and green bell peppers plus the mini-sweets and, in addition, round vine ripe tomatoes, Roma tomatoes and grape tomatoes.

The acreage this season is “fairly static” on the bell peppers and up about 20 percent on the tomato products, but while the bell peppers are grown in the state of Sinaloa in mainland Mexico, the tomato products are grown on the Baja Peninsula. They cross into the United Sates at San Diego rather than Nogales.

Prime Time has both hothouse and field-grown bell peppers, Aiton said. “We have both elongated and blocky” styles. “The biggest item we have are the field grown elongated red peppers. Next is green bells, then our hothouse varieties — red, yellow and orange — are next in terms of volume.”

The company began receiving hothouse peppers from Sinaloa in early November. “Volume is going to continue to increase as we move deeper into the season,” Aiton said.

The green bell peppers were expected to start around the first week in December, with the field-grown red bells starting around Christmastime. Those are “fairly typical starting dates,” he said.

Prime Time was currently receiving tomato products from its grower in the Vizcaino area of Baja. “Those are all loading in San Diego right now” and will go all the way through winter, he said. The company also has a spring deal out of La Paz in southern Baja.

One advantage for Prime Time in its Mexican production, according to Aiton, is that it is very consistent with the company’s California production. “The packinghouse that we have in Sinaloa, for example, is the exact duplicate of the one we have in Coachella,” he said. “The standards are the same. The people are the same. The policies and procedures are the same. Our customers tell us it is very seamless to move from one area to another just because of the consistency and the quality and the sizing and the packs that we put up. So having complete control, I think, is an advantage for us.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

Transcritical Refrigeration Ready for Prime Time: Panel

WASHINGTON — Retailers looking at or adopting transcritical refrigeration systems, which use only carbon dioxide (CO2) as a refrigerant, are confident that technicians and contractors will be able to handle the installation and maintenance of the new systems, though they may charge a premium.

“With a little training on the uniqueness of certain aspects of the system and understanding the higher pressures, the vast majority of technicians have no trouble with it,” said Steve Hagen, procurement manager, Sprouts Farmers Market, Phoenix, who participated in a panel discussion on natural refrigerants such as CO2 and ammonia last month at the ATMOsphere America 2013 conference here. Sprouts has installed a cascade refrigeration system that largely employs CO2 refrigerant, and “continues to look at opportunities to use natural refrigerants,” he said.

Natural refrigerants have a negligible or zero impact on global warming as well as no effect on the ozone layer. As a result, they are being considered by food retailers worldwide as a replacement for both R-22, the primary refrigerant used by food retailers that is being phased out due to its harmful effect on the ozone layer, and HFC (hydrofluorocarbon) refrigerants, which have a high global warming potential.

Rod Peterson, national procurement manager, refrigeration & HVAC, Sobeys, Stellarton, Nova Scotia, acknowledged that the Canadian grocer was concerned about whether contractors would be able to install its initial transcritical system in Western Canada “in a cost effective manner.” However, the contractor turned out to be “up to speed,” he said. “They were excited and proud to be working on the first system.”

Sobeys, by far the leading user of transcritical refrigeration among North American food retailers, has 45 stores running the system, mostly in Quebec, with 20 more to follow suit this year, including the first in Ontario. The transcritical systems cost about 11% more than conventional systems but use less electricity and have lower installation costs, Peterson said, adding that with heat reclaim the payback is three years.

The contractor working with Whole Foods Market, Austin, Texas, on the installation of a transcritical system in a new Brooklyn, N.Y. store “priced for the unknown because they were nervous” about the new technology, said Michael Guldenstern, director, Energy Efficiency Services, Hopkinton, N.H., who has worked with Whole Foods Market on its natural refrigerant projects. “It was a little more painful than we anticipated.”

In addition to the store in Brooklyn under construction, Whole Foods is designing a transcritical system for a store on the West Coast, noted J’aime Mitchell, green mission specialist for Whole Foods’ Northeast Region. “We’re excited about natural refrigerants but there’s still some caution because we haven’t seen real-world maintenance or energy numbers yet,” she said.

Harrison Horning, director of equipment purchasing, maintenance and energy – North, Delhaize America Shared Services Group, Scarborough, Maine, observed that for Hannaford Supermarkets’s first transcritical store the company discovered a “lack of a spare parts network” in the U.S. “We grabbed our passport and drove to Canada to get parts.” Hannaford, a division of Delhaize America, opened what is considered the first U.S. store with a transcritical system last month in Turner, Maine.

Richard Heath, director of energy optimization, Source Refrigeration & HVAC, Anaheim, Calif., said that it’s important for companies working on new refrigeration systems — manufacturers, contractors and consultants — to write a “scope of work” to limit the costs of the project. Otherwise, “they’re going to pad these things of they don’t know what to expect,” he said.

Heath was formerly a refrigeration executive for Supervalu who helped deploy a refrigeration system last year at an Albertsons store in Carpinteria, Calif., that uses carbon dioxide, ammonia, and propane. The system used $ 60 per day less electricity than a system using R-407a refrigerant in a study that looked at the ammonia system over 150 days and the R-407A system over 108 days, he said.

The impetus for the Carpinteria system came from Supervalu’s commitment to the Consumer Goods Forum to begin using natural refrigerants by 2015. (Supervalu sold its Albertsons stores in March to AB Acquisition, parent of Albertsons LLC.) He called the Carpinteria store’s refrigeration system  “90% natural” and noted that “it’s not all or nothing” when it comes to natural refrigerants.

Hagen cautioned that until overall costs of the transcritical system are shown to be on par with existing technology, “you’re going to see limited acceptance by the leaders of the industry.” Still, he expects to see transcritical systems deployed in colder climates (where they operate more efficiently) and ammonia systems in warmer climates.

Some information for this story was supplied by Jana Topley Lira, media officer for Shecco, Brussels, which hosted ATMOSphere America 2013.

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