Corrugated is a Standard Bearer for High Performance Packaging

The Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) has introduced the Common Footprint Quality (CFQ) standard for the UK’s fresh produce industry, providing further confirmation that the tray being used will provide safe and high performance packaging for fruit and vegetables.

Three Corrugated companies in the UK – DS Smith, Saica Pack and Smurfit Kappa – have all adopted the quality standard to create a benchmark for packaging that takes into account both the produce to be packed and the distance it travels.

The strength and durability of trays carrying the CFQ stamp will be rigorously tested to ensure it is fit for purpose and in optimal condition for handling and transportation when it leaves the corrugated manufacturer. These companies all believe that adopting CPI’s CFQ standard will further improve the efficiency of the fresh produce supply chain for growers and retailers by allowing common footprint trays from different suppliers to be stacked safely and quickly, maximising space in both storage and shipping.

CPI collaborated with the European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers (FEFCO), which introduced a Europe-wide CFQ mark last year, to ensure that trays from various origins can also be stacked safely by defining a standard base size along with the size and position of tabs and receptacles.

CPI’s Director of Packaging Affairs, Andy Barnetson, said: “The new CFQ mark demonstrates that the UK Corrugated Industry is picking up the baton to provide the best possible packaging solutions for customers. We are providing the accreditation in support of the logo, which is further confirmation that the packaging is strong enough to
cushion and protect fruit and vegetables throughout their journey.”

With a wide range of benefits, including an inherent flexibility, corrugated packaging can be modified for different crops and misshapen produce, thereby reducing the potential for bruising and skin damage that can sometimes occur with rigid packaging.

Corrugated also provides a safe and hygienic packaging system as it is used only once before being recycled. The recycling process involves sufficiently high temperatures, and the application of steam, producing conditions under which bacteria cannot survive.

Recent research commissioned by FEFCO found that corrugated trays offer an effective hygienic solution, reducing the risk of contamination during delivery of fresh produce. This can extend the shelf life by up to three more days when compared to plastic returnable transit packaging.

Like all corrugated packaging, CFQ trays are perfectly designed for displaying goods. Their printability makes them an ideal communication and promotional tool for growers and retailers. By conveying information on quality, ripeness, brand, country, locality of origin and more in attractive full colour, they help to increase sales.

CFQ accredited trays deliver the protection and shelf appeal needed by delicate fruit and vegetables, giving growers and retailers confidence that their fresh produce will arrive in store in optimum condition every time.

For sales enquiries, please contact:

DS Smith: Rachel Thompson 07342 072025 (
Saica Pack: Richard Knight 07826 875744 (
Smurfit Kappa: John Talbot 07785 933169 (


For additional information, please contact Emma Punchard, Director of Communications, tel: 01793 889609 or email


  • The Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) is the leading trade association representing the UK’s Paper-based Industries, comprising paper and board manufacturers and converters, corrugated packaging producers, makers of soft tissue papers, and collectors of paper for recycling.
  • CPI represents an industry with an aggregate annual turnover of £6.5 billion, 25,000 direct and more than 100,000 indirect employees.
  • The CPI corrugated sector promotes a sustainable and renewable material, more than 80% of which is recycled.