ICA has begun – as the first grocery chain in Sweden – testing a new method for marking fruits and vegetables. Instead of using stickers or packaging products in trays and cellophane wrap, the products are marked directly on their skin using a laser. The method is more sustainable and results in better traceability.
ICA has begun testing the new marking method on organic avocados and sweet potatoes. The new sustainability marking is done directly on the skin using a laser that changes the pigment on the skin, so that the product’s name, country of origin and PLU code are seen clearly. With this method the marking follows the fruit or vegetable through the entire supply chain in a secure manner.
“It’s great that we can now use new technology to get better marking from an environmental perspective,” says Peter Hägg, Head of the Fruit and Vegetables product range at ICA Sweden. “This way, organic products do not need to be kept separate from others. Since the marking is on each item, there is no need for stickers, trays or cellophane wrap around the product. We estimate that we will save more than 200 kilometres of cellophane wrap per year just by marking our avocados in this way. The total effect is substantial.”
Sustainable marking – brief facts
Using a laser, only the pigment in the outer skin of the fruit or vegetable is changed. The method leaves no trace on the product itself. This marking method is already used by grocery store chains in Europe, such as Carrefour. The machine is located in a packing house in the Netherlands, where the marking takes place.
For more information
ICA Gruppen press service, Telephone number: +46 10 422 52 52