• Rivalea's packaging won an APCO sustainability award.
    Rivalea's packaging won an APCO sustainability award.

Rivalea, part of JBS Australia’s Pork Division, has been recognised as the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation’s (APCO) 2023 Annual Industry Sector award winner in Agriculture and Nurseries for its sustainable packaging.

APCO assessed Rivalea across two product categories, pork boned meat and livestock feed bags, resulting in an overall performance of 86 per cent which surpassed best practice in the industry.

One of the recyclable trays the company produces.
One of the recyclable trays the company produces.

According to the company, more than half of its pork boned meat is packed in reusable crates, minimising waste and encouraging supply chain circularity. Fifty-two per cent of Rivalea’s packaging is developed from recyclable materials such as cardboard and VSP bottom web sealing.

In 2023, Rivalea became a member of the Australian government’s Big Bag Recovery, a product stewardship scheme designed to recycle plastic sacks and bulk bags containing over 15 kg/l of contacts. The program focuses on recyclable bags that are woven polypropylene (wPP) and low density polyethylene (LDPE), collects them from businesses for a fee, and then passes them on to Circular Communities Australia for processing at its Toowoomba facility.

Carla Martin, product research & development manager at JBS Pork Division receiving the APCO award.
Carla Martin, product research & development manager at JBS Pork Division receiving the award.

This scheme provided a circular solution to recover and recycle Rivalea’s 20kg feedstock bags, which the company says ultimately extends the lifespan of plastics used across the value chain.

JBS Australia Pork Division COO, Edison Alvares, said that APCO’s award acknowledges Rivalea’s dedication to packaging research and design for a more sustainable future: “APCO’s recognition acknowledges the ongoing efforts of the Rivalea team who reimagine the capabilities of packaging and collaborate with customers to reduce our impact on the environment.

“Rivalea has achieved the maximum recyclability for its primary packaging of its products in accordance with Sustainable Packaging Guidelines and has focused on closing the loop for its feedstock bags. These initiatives create great progress towards reducing packaging waste during production and post-consumption, to generate a more circular supply chain,” said Alvares.

Rivalea has also partnered with its suppliers to trial recyclable Cryovac bags and compostable absorbent pad inserts. Additionally, WorldStar recognised JBS Australia’s collaboration with Opal for its dunnage solution, which eliminated the need for non-recyclable expanded polystyrene.

JBS Australia group manager Sustainability, Sam Churchill, said innovating is the cornerstone of JBS’s sustainability approach: “Across our business we are continually trialling new methods to evolve our packaging. Our Swift brand received a 2023 PIDA Award for food packaging design of the year. By combining a Cryovac Darfresh mono-Pet vacuum skin and web contouring, we’ve created a high protection barrier that extends shelf life and prevents food waste throughout the value chain.”

“It is innovations such as these that lead progress in vital sustainability priorities across our business and supply chain,” Churchill said.


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