Trade association Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) has announced the corrugated common footprint quality (CFQ) standard for the UK’s fresh produce industry.

The proposed CFQ standard seeks to provide safe and high-performance corrugated packaging for fruit and vegetables.

CPI comprises recovered paper merchants, paper and board manufacturers and converters, corrugated packaging producers, and makers of soft tissue papers.

The standard also aims to improve the efficiency of the fresh produce supply chain by allowing common footprint trays from different suppliers to be stacked safely and quickly.

The initiative will maximise space in both storage and shipping.

CPI is also collaborating with its European counterpart for establishing its own CFQ, with plans to introduce the standard later this year.

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Confederation of Paper Industries packaging affairs director Andy Barnetson said: "The CFQ standard is another initiative by the industry aimed at retaining corrugated’s position as the packaging material of choice in the 21st Century.

"The mark will be an assurance that fruit and veg are suitably protected through the supply chain.

"The mark will be an assurance that fruit and veg are suitably protected through the supply chain."

"Corrugated packaging’s ability to adapt to all shapes and sizes, its greater protective qualities and how it has evolved from a conventional brown box into a marketing tool thanks to the development of attractive shelf ready packaging (SRP), gives growers improved saleability for their products."

CPI noted that fresh produce requires packaging that provides cushioning, ventilation, strength, moisture resistance and protection.

Corrugated packaging is said to provide these benefits and more than 80% of it is recycled, making the product sustainable.

Spain’s Association of Fruit and Vegetable Producers of Almeria (COEXPHAL) has found that corrugated board has less impact on the environment than reusable crates, minimises contamination risks, and prolongs the shelf life of fruit and vegetables.

Image: CPI to introduce common footprint quality standard to ensure safe and high-performance corrugated packaging for fruit and vegetables. Photo: courtesy of Confederation of Paper Industries.