Immersed in the creation of a multitude of new references, Florette has not forgotten aspects as important as sustainability, in a project called “Sustainable Containers”
Fermín Aldaz, sales manager of the company talks to us about this project and about the new references that have appeared over the past year.
Due to their business activity itself, pre-prepared produce companies have an important challenge with plastics, don’t they?
Yes, of course. And, for this reason, Florette is working on the “Sustainable Containers” project, with which we have managed to ensure that the bowls of our Complete Salads are made using 100% recycled and recyclable material. Another milestone reached in this plan is the 15% reduction of plastic in the containers of our ready-to-eat salads, which are also 100% recyclable. Thanks to this step, we will take over 160,000 kilos of plastic off the market every year. Likewise, we are in a continuously improving process in the eco-design of containers and we are studying the development of alternative materials that guarantee the same conservation and food safety conditions as plastic.
In the fields, we are developing environmentally-friendly techniques, such as the use of natural ‘zero-residue’ disinfectants or thermal blankets, and we are putting special emphasis on the optimisation of water resources, such as using rainwater or drip irrigation.
In the Florette production centres, we use 100% renewable energies and we work on the optimisation and reduction in energy consumption on a daily basis. One of the projects that we have been committed to, virtually from the word go is the Energy Efficiency Plan, which is applied with the aim of constantly monitoring the consumption in order to start up steps aimed at continuous improvement.
The new production centre in Tortosa, which will start working next spring, is designed to be as sustainable as possible. It will have a water recovery and reutilisation model, and it uses an energy efficiency concept based on self-consumption. In this way, we will be working with renewable energies and we will have solar panels to supply the centre with all its necessary energy. To achieve a greater adaptation to the demands and a greater efficiency of the resources, the industry 4.0 concept will be used.
These steps to reduce the environmental impact are highly valued by ecological product consumers, and at Florette we are aware of this. For this reason, we are working continuously to ensure that each of the links that make up our company always consider sustainability to be an essential factor.
What are the company’s latest launches?
In the ready-to-eat segment, we have created the Micro Italian recipe. It is a nutritionally complete alternative with a foundation of pasta and fresh vegetables which, thanks to its innovative container, can be steamed, (a healthy cooking method), in just 4 minutes in the microwave. Recently, we have also launched the baby leaf salad and Spanish potato omelette combo, a versatile, tasty and complete option that is being very well received, suitable both for the office or the beach.
Furthermore, and now more than ever, when health has become a determining aspect of shopping, many consumers are backing brands like ours, which offer a fresh, safe, quality product, which helps with healthy eating. Taking the population’s needs into consideration, we have launched the new salad, Inmuno. It is a mixture of lamb’s lettuce, green and red lettuce baby leaves and red sage that is a source of Vitamin A and folic acid, which helps to strengthen the immune system.
Could vending be a point of development?
Within Florette’s Food Service division, we handle a wide range of products for vending. In fact, the growth forecast for Florette Food Service is 60% in five years (this figure was 15% in 2019), and vending, although it is still an emerging reality in our business, will contribute to this increase. Therefore, we will continue working on the development of different products for this sub-channel. We launched the Home-grown Salad, 100% vegetable, with a format designed for vending machines at the beginning of the year, which means it is not necessary to adapt the machines or their spirals to load the product. It is a fact that more and more people see this alternative as a good option to continue looking after themselves and eating healthily and so we will carry on developing it.