Retail Packaging Statement 2020

BY Lize Garrod

SOGA Organic is the only certified organic citrus processor in South Africa. We only process fruit from the four SOGA Growers to ensure the best quality and integrity for all our products. All four growers farm in South Africa along the fertile Sundays River Valley, near the Addo Elephant National Park. 
One of our core values that made us farm organically, is our drive to produce fruit on a sustainable basis. We are developing a farming system that is robust, and where the quality of our soils improves every year. We are acutely aware of the need to farm in harmony with nature, and to always put back into our environment more than what we take out.
Quality and food safety are very important at SOGA Organic to ensure the best quality and integrity of all our products. We grow, produce and package all our retail products ourselves and all packaging materials are only sourced from approved suppliers.
Citrus Processing Plant Accreditations:

  • Certified Organic by Control Union – EU and NOP
  • BRC (British Retail Consortium)
  • PPECB (Perishable Products Export Control Board)

In the development of our retail product range, we were acutely aware of the impact on the environment.  However, finding any alternative to plastic was impossible. Being frozen citrus juice products, we had no option but to make some compromises. Metal and glass bottles were both problematic when it came to freezing, and freezing our product is critical in our process as it obviates the need to add any preservatives.  HDPE, LDPE and PP are all opaque, and we needed a clear bottle. We were left with only one option, Polyethylene terephthalate or PET as it’s commonly known. 
Biological, biochemical and chemical reactivity are dramatically influenced by temperature, and whereas there might be low amounts of leaching at high temperatures, this would be negligible at minus 18° Celsius, the temperature at which our products are stored & distributed.
Many beverages, food items and other consumer products are delivered in bottles or packages made from PET. The #1 code is usually found on or near the bottom of the container. Manufacturers like it because it is safe, strong, transparent and versatile. Customers choose it for its safety, light weight, re-sealability, shatter-resistance and recyclability. Up to 100% of a PET package can be made from recycled PET, and the material can be recycled again and again. It is used to make new bottles, but recycled PET can also be made into fiber for carpets; fabric for tshirts or fleece jackets; fiberfill for sleeping bags, winter coats, and dog beds; industrial strapping; sheet and thermoformed (clam shell) packaging; and automotive parts such as headliners, bumpers, and door panels. We urge all our customers who buy our 250ml Certified Organic Frozen Orange/Ruby Grapefruit/Lemon Juice PET Bottle to PLEASE RE-USE and RECYCLE. 
Finding suitable packaging and a filling machine for our 2nd product, the SOGA Rocket (100ml Certified Organic Frozen Orange Rocket) turned out to be quite a challenge. After months of searching for a local supplier of Tetrapak or cardboard squeeze tubes/squeezers, we eventually had to turn to Europe. Innova Supply & Services GMBH in Germany is a leader in product ideas, packaging, marketing and distribution, HACCP and ISO 9000 as well as BRC certifications aren’t just slogans, they are basic prerequisites! The company’s thinking and behaviour is determined by continuity, independence and sustainable growth and they accommodate small companies like SOGA Organic. The material used is Food grade approved cupforma classic board coated outside and inside (DPE) with polyethylene. The squeeze tubes are 100% recyclable.
December 2016 saw the launch of our 3rd retail product, Certified Organic Frozen Lemon juice. It was a first in South Africa and the world…. A convenient “ice-cube size” sachet of certified organic lemon juice to spruce up your salad, sauces or pop into your hot water or tea in the morning. We attended several packaging expo’s, did months of research and testing to try and find innovative and green packaging alternatives to produce this unique little wonder… Recyclable trays turned out “impossible” to use for liquids, so again we were forced to turn to plastic.  The product is packaged in 10ml Form fill and seal sachets and sold 24 x 10ml units in a re-usable Velcro seal pouch. Since launching this product, we have reduced the plastic used in the 10ml sachets by 50%.   
All SOGA Organic retail products only have ONE INGREDIENT – The product is the ingredient and the only ingredient is the product. Certified Organic Citrus Juice – Just squeezed & freezed®  

  • No pesticide residues 
  • No preservatives 
  • No additives 
  • No colouring or flavouring 
  • No sugar added 
  • No water added 
  • Not-from-concentrate (NFC) 

The development of 100% recyclable or bio-degradable food-safe containers, that can withstand very low temperatures for long periods of time, is a challenge. However, we are always looking for new and improved packaging to be gentler on the environment and are currently in testing phase with two types of Bio-degradable bottles.
All outer cartons (boxes) used for packaging our retail products are manufactured with recycled fluting and liner paper.

 September 29, 2020
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Lize Garrod

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