There’s a lot of information available to entrepreneurs who want to sell their food products at farmers’ markets or in stores. With so much to sift through, it’s hard to know what’s true, what’s myth, and what’s actually helpful. So here’s the real story on 3 food packaging myths you won’t have to research anymore.
3 Common Myths About Packaging Materials for Your Food Products Busted
Packaging is unnecessary.
Let’s stop and think about this for a second. What does packaging actually do for food — and especially prepared food — from a small food business? Food packaging protects all products from all types of damage including:
- Physical — crushing, bruising, shock and vibration
- Chemical — moisture gain or loss
- Biological — pests, microbes, animals
Packaged food will always have to move from a commercial kitchen to the shop or farmers’ market for sale. Then they travel from either the shop or the market to the customer’s kitchen table. In other words, it is expected that food products will be jostled around before arriving at their final destination. Without being able to control these environments there is no way of knowing what kinds of chemicals, pests, or animals your product may have come in contact with during the transfers. In order to prevent unwanted damage and have your customers enjoy your product safely, the way you intended for them to, food packaging is a must.
It’s not required.
To sell food products in Canada there are many rules and regulations that absolutely must be adhered to. Consumer safety legislation requires that all food production abides by these set guidelines. It is mandatory to keep up with food packaging requirements.
Food packaging is bad for the environment.
So we’ve established that you should, nay, must package your products! You don’t have control over that requirement. But how you package your product is something that you do have control over. What is harmful for the environment is over-packaging and littering. With so many green-friendly options to choose from, you can minimize the impact of your food packaging on the environment. Examples of environment friendly options would be glass, recyclable containers, and stand up pouches, to name a few. Some vendors in farmers’ markets have even launched their own return-for-reuse programs, so customers can return containers, which are then cleaned and sterilized for use again. If farmers’ markets happens to be one of your niches, a return-for-reuse program would be a great option.
Ontario Agri-Food Venture Centre (OAFVC) has the expertise to walk you through the packaging and labelling process. Our experienced staff will educate you on labelling and packaging regulations and requirements as well as the best options for how to package your food product and minimize your food business’ environmental footprint. Our on-site graphic designer can also help design your packaging.
With little to no commitment required when working in a communal commercial kitchen, you will be able to continue to grow your food business further. OAFVC will help you find the right packaging that is perfect your product.
We Want to Make Food Production Research Easier for You
To learn more about what your business needs, download this copy of our e-book, “What You Need to Grow Your Agri-Food Business.”