Jac. Vandenberg and VPZ Collaboration Results in Win at 2024 PAC Global Awards

Tarrytown, New York-based importer Jac. Vandenberg and Graz, Austria-based packaging manufacturer VPZ were recognized for their innovation in packaging design at this year’s prestigious PAC Global Awards.

Organizers of the event shared that submissions came from dozens of countries around the world and were evaluated by a panel of 104 judges from 18 nations. The panel of judges awarded Vandenberg and VPZ with the “Best in Class” award in the Sustainable Package Design – Package Circularity category for their Packnatur® cellulose netting.

“We are proud to be the face of fresh produce when it comes to sustainability and circularity,” says John Paap, Brand Marketing and Sustainability Manager at Jac. Vandenberg. “To receive this award, it’s a testament to the power of collaboration and partnership to solve the greatest challenge of our lifetime and species. We have to change the status quo if we are to truly set our species on the correct path to survival. That means rethinking the materials we use in packaging all the way to our behaviors and habits. But none of this can be done by one company or brand. It takes collaboration and partnership. We must design like nature, working together, if we are to create something accepted by nature.”

Jac. Vandenberg uses the Packnatur® cellulose netting as a circular, plastic-free alternative for their bagged citrus products. The netting is made 100% from beechwood recovered from the thinning of FSC® or PEFC-certified forests. Beechwood forests are naturally occurring primary forests and are able to regenerate themselves, without the need for reforesting. The netting is certified OK compost HOME by TUV Austria and when placed in a home compost environment will degrade into nutrient rich dirt within eight to twelve weeks.

Reflecting on the journey of over three decades, Markus Kainer, CEO of VPZ Packnatur®, shares, “we’ve pioneered sustainable packaging solutions with unwavering dedication to utilizing natural materials like algae, plant residues, and innovative wood fibers. Our breakthrough with Packnatur® cellulose net tubes in Austria over a decade ago marked a significant milestone, earning numerous international awards. Since then, our cellulose-based solution has gained widespread adoption across Europe. Partnering with Jac Vandenberg as our inaugural entry into the US market has been truly transformative. Winning the PAC Award for ‘Best in Class’ Sustainable Package Design alongside Jac Vandenberg is a profound honor.”

With another win under the belt, Vandenberg reaffirms its position as an industry leader in sustainability and circularity, setting the standard of what can achieved with passion and teamwork with industry partners. Vandenberg looks forward to continuing its journey of creating a regenerative future through creativity and partnerships.