I recently met with our friends from Rodale Institute, the original promoters and leaders of organic farming. I love meeting and brainstorming with other forward-thinking individuals who care as much as I do about good, honest, healthy food. Rodale has been a great resource to Bell & Evans for many years.
During the meeting, I was naming problems I have with the existing national organic guidelines and the integrity of the organic label. I won’t get into all the specifics – there’s more on that to come – but one of my comments sparked an “a-ha moment” from the group that I want to share with you.
Organic products should come in recyclable packaging. I see producers bragging about their organic practices and sustainability, and then they sell their organic product in a Styrofoam package! That doesn’t make any sense. One of the major benefits of organic farming is that it’s environmentally friendly. Styrofoam is not.
The other large organic chicken producers don’t think like I do because they haven’t been concerned about natural and organic practices for very long. Many of them entered this niche because of customer demand, not because they believed it was the right thing to do. They purchased organic brands instead of developing them. So, of course, they don’t see the big picture.
Our tray packaging is made from fully recyclable #1 PETE material that is BPA free. Since our chicken is 100% Air Chilled, there’s not even a “diaper” in the bottom of the pack to throw away! You simply remove the chicken, rinse the tray and toss it into your recycling container. Our tray is even useful for marinating your chicken overnight without having to dirty any other dishes.
Similarly, our case boxes are made from 100% recycled corrugated cardboard that is fully recyclable again after use. Pratt Industries, our box partner, is the world’s largest privately held 100% recycled paper and packaging company in America. Our packaging costs us a lot more than what other companies spend, but I think our customer, especially our organic customer, appreciates premium, recyclable packaging with their premium chicken product.