Interview with Jörg schär
Fenaco is an agricultural cooperative in Switzerland. Fenaco's motto: "de la terre à la table" (from the land onto the plate). The company is constantly looking for innovative packaging solutions that meet its high sustainability standards. During that search, fenaco ended up with JASA Packaging Solutions in 2000 through Bruno Puricelli.
What exactly does Fenaco do?
Jörg: "Fenaco is an agricultural cooperative owned by Swiss farmers. As a supplier, we offer farmers the products, services, and technologies they need for all production methods that contribute to a sustainable, efficient, and market-oriented agriculture.
In addition, we function as a marketing partner. From that position, we bring Swiss foods to customers."
What is it exactly that you do at Fenaco?
"I work as director of Steffen-Ris and category manager because Fenaco is broader than just the agricultural component. We operate in the functional areas of agriculture, food industry, retail, and energy."
Why is Fenaco so committed to sustainability?
"Most Swiss farms are run by families. Farmer families think in generations. You will recognize that with us too. It is in our DNA that we, as a farmers' cooperative, design our business activities to be ecologically, socially, and economically sustainable.
Our mission is to thus support Swiss farmers in economically developing their businesses - de la terre à la table."
How is your contact with Bruno Puricelli, JASA's distributor?
"We are constantly looking for innovative packaging solutions that meet our high sustainability standards. It was via that path that we ended up with JASA years ago.
Bruno's father once implemented technical solutions for our company, and that's how we came into contact with Bruno. Bruno works at Tecfrut AG, a sales partner of JASA, and Tecfrut AG is, among others, the Swiss distributor for JASA packaging machines and Newtec weighers. We have been working very successfully with Bruno for decades."
How did the cooperation with JASA work out?
"In 2000, our first JASA packaging machine was installed in Switzerland, in our onion packing plant in Bätterkinden.
In 2008, several JASA packaging lines for potatoes were added. Over the years, JASA and fenaco have developed together."
Why did you choose JASA's packaging lines, were you specifically looking for something?
"In recent years, we have been working diligently to replace our plastic packaging with more sustainable solutions. The developments in this field are enormous, and for us, it is essential to stay on top of the innovations.
This is precisely where we see the great benefit of JASA's packaging solutions. With JASA's packaging solutions, we can process different packaging and different materials on one packaging machine.
This enables us to remain very flexible. In addition to that flexibility, the stable operation and easy handling of JASA systems appeal to us."
Is paper packaging the new standard in Switzerland?
"It looks like it. In two years, we have almost completely replaced plastic packaging for potatoes with paper solutions. We are also switching to paper for other products. Or in other words, paper packaging is indeed becoming the norm.
We also see this with the end customer. The new potato packaging receives a lot of praise from consumers. It is nice to see that our natural products combined with paper packaging create symbiosis consumers like."
Are there other packaging trends on the market?
"Sustainability remains the hot topic in the packaging industry. You can see this in various forms.
For example, there are packaging with the highest possible percentage of recyclate and resource-saving packaging based on the motto 'less is more'."
Do you see other innovations in sustainability in your market?
"Yes indeed. Enormous developments are going on in the field of cultivation and production technology. These have a dual purpose: to optimize sustainability and maintain productivity.
Throughout the value chain, great efforts are being made to preserve resources."
How does paper packaging fit into Fenaco's 14 long-term sustainability goals?
"Fenaco's goal is to make a difference in terms of sustainability. Swiss agriculture is already a pioneer in many areas when it comes to sustainability. This is due, among other things, to adapted regional structures, short transport routes, high-quality awareness, and well-developed product safety.
We want to strengthen and enhance this position. As the largest agricultural cooperative in Switzerland, we can make an essential contribution to this. Sustainable packaging solutions, and thus paper packaging, are one of many pieces of the puzzle."