Tops stores' produce departments will start using sustainable Earthcycle trays by the end of the summer.
Tops Markets LLC is moving from using nonbiodegradable foam trays in its produce department to Earthcycle products from Canadian company CFK Inc. by the end of this summer. Made of a certified compostable, recyclable blend of virgin and wood pulp, Earthcycle products are designed to keep produce fresher longer – 20% longer than when packed in plastic.
The change was overseen by Jeff Cady, director of produce and floral for Williamsville, New York-based Tops. Stores are expected to see their first shipment of the eco-friendly packaging this weekend, according to the grocer.
Another way Tops produce departments have committed to a healthier environment is by joining forces with local growers like Intergrow, which is now the sole provider of greenhouse-grown tomatoes for the supermarket chain. Now, instead of transporting this product long distances from Canada or Mexico, it will be brought from nearby Albion and Webster, New York, year-round, helping Tops to reduce its carbon footprint.
Back in 2012, Naturipe LLC won a United Fresh new product award for its Earthcycle organic berry packaging.
Tops operates 157 supermarkets, with five additional franchise stores, and employs 14,500 associates in New York, northern Pennsylvania, and western Vermont. The company is No. 63 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.