Tesco to help the environment with laser technology on avocados

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Tesco to help the environment with laser technology on avocados

Avocado fans will notice interesting changes when buying one of Britain's most popular fruits. In a move to help the environment, Tesco will do away with the sticky labels that extra-large avocados have today in favor of eye-catching laser engravings.

At the same time, it is trialing the replacement of the plastic tray packaging on two of its most popular avocado lines with cardboard containers that are easier to recycle.

The company said that the change will be implemented in stores, in conjunction with the UK's leading avocado suppliers, Westfalia Fruit and suppliers from Lincolnshire.

Tesco sells nearly 70 million avocados a year and has seen demand for the fruit grow by 15% in the last year.

“We are always looking for innovative ways to reduce our products' environmental impact and household plastic waste through changes to our packaging. We are very excited to hear customer feedback on our new laser engraved avocados,” commented avocado buyer for Tesco, Lisa Gilbey.

Related article: Avocado market value could almost double in the next decade

Westfalia Fruit is behind the new laser engraving technology and conducted extensive testing to ensure that the quality, shelf life, and taste of the fruit would not be affected.

“Westfalia Fruit is continually looking for ways to improve its environmental performance and operate responsibly, focusing on priorities such as reducing and, wherever possible, eliminating plastic from our packaging, to help solve the waste challenge,” said Westfalia Fruit managing director, Graham Isaac.

“We are confident that with a clear focus and united effort as an industry, we will be able to significantly reduce our waste, use natural resources responsibly and protect the environment and biodiversity for our future,” he added.

Laser technology

The high-powered laser removes a small section of the top layer of avocado skin, etching information about the size of the fruit as directed by a computer program. Within a third of a second, the process leaves a tattoo that displays information to customers and cashiers, including the variety of the fruit.

Trials will be carried out in approximately 270 Tesco stores in the southeast of England and, if customer feedback is positive, they will be rolled out to all.

The Global Avocado Summit organized by the Chile Avocado Committee and Yentzen Group will be held on November 21 at the Casino Monticello event center in Santiago, Chile. 

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