ATLANTA -- Five companies were named as the produce industry's best packaging innovators by the Produce Marketing Association, receiving the association's fifth annual PMA Impact Award: Excellence in Packaging.
The winners were announced by Mike O'Brien, vice president of produce and floral at Schnuck Markets Inc. at Saturday's general session during PMA's 2011 Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition. The award recognizes companies that lead the way with exceptional produce and floral packaging, and demonstrate originality.
The packaging entries were judged on a set of five criteria, and 28 finalists were selected for final judging. Submissions earned points for marketing, food safety, supply chain efficiency/functionality, sustainability and, new this year, consumer convenience.
The 2011 Impact Award winners were:
Apio and Clear Lam Packaging for their joint submission, New Peel/Reseal Apio Squash Package
Hollandia Produce for its Live Gourmet Living Lettuce Squircle Clamshell and Shipping Container
Monterey Mushrooms for its Sustainable Mushroom Packaging
Naturipe Farms for its Berry Quick Snacks
Ocean Mist Farms for its Season and Steam Microwavable Artichoke Pack
"PMA founded its Impact Award program in recognition of the important role packaging plays in connecting with consumers, enhancing food safety, sustaining the environment and improving supply chain efficiencies," said Bryan Silbermann, PMA president and chief executive officer. We're pleased to highlight those who have demonstrated such innovative thinking."
The award program is designed to help promote excellence in produce or floral packaging. In total, PMA received 53 entries this year from which the 28 finalists were selected to be reviewed by a panel of expert judges who chose the winners.
The judges, from a diverse range of industry experience, were: Bridget Bennett, category manager/produce for the Defense Commissary Agency; Kip Martin, produce and floral supervisor for Raley's Family of Fine Stores; Ron McCormick, senior director of local and sustainable sourcing for WalMart; Pamela Riemenschneider, editor of Produce Retailer magazine and retail editor of The Packer; and Dr. Bob Whitaker, PMA's chief science and technology officer.