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Mountaire Farms

A sustainability initiative leads to the creation of Greencoat®, the strongest, 100% recyclable wax box alternative.

Mountaire Farms is one of the largest poultry processors in the U.S., serving markets all over the world. Focused on delivering high-quality products to their customers, Mountaire emphasizes the importance of science-based best practices throughout their process. Their regional, national and international reach means their poultry packaging is not an exception to this rule and is, in fact, an instrumental factor in their company’s success.

The Problem

U.S. retailers and restaurants pay approximately $50 million annually to dispose of roughly 1.47 million tons of wax boxes used to pack and ship cold and wet products.

Back in 2004, Mountaire Farms started to hear grumblings from customers who were growing tired of bearing the monetary and environmental costs associated with wax box disposal. Mountaire saw change coming and wanted to get ahead of the curve. They scoured the packaging industry in hopes of finding a recyclable, wax replacement box that would provide them with the level of performance that they required.

They found that this just didn’t exist.

The Solution

Realizing they needed an innovative packaging partner to develop the solution they sought, Mountaire found that partner in Interstate Container, now DS Smith. Greencoat is the result of this one-of- a-kind teamwork.

 A recyclable box alone was not the ultimate goal: they needed a recyclable box that was just as strong and performed as well as wax. As Paul Ranney, Purchasing Manager at Mountaire Farms says, “As beneficial as a recyclable box is as opposed to a non-recyclable box, if it’s not holding up, it doesn’t stand a chance of surviving the marketplace.”

In 2010, Greencoat met those standards and was deemed a success. Mountaire was able to immediately transition the bulk of their poultry packaging to Greencoat boxes, with the remainder following closely behind.

The Results

Today, Mountaire sends its products around the world – from Africa to the Middle East to Asia – in Greencoat, and the boxes don’t fail. Both Mountaire and its customers find Greencoat’s performance to be superior to anything else in the corrugated world.

Ron Pittington, Director of Purchasing for Mountaire Farms
Mountaire picked up new customers and increased our volume with existing customers since we switched to Greencoat. We know, because we’ve been told, that it’s because of our boxes. — Ron Pittington, Director of Purchasing for Mountaire Farms

Of course, Greencoat’s recyclability is another reason for its success. Many of Mountaire’s major customers now demand their product be delivered in recyclable packaging. Those early grumblings from retail and restaurant customers about the monetary and environmental costs associated with wax disposal have turned into full-fledged Sustainability Departments with rigid vendor requirements.

Thanks to Greencoat, Mountaire can now meet those sustainability requirements.

In addition to helping Mountaire tremendously on the sales and marketing side and contributing to customers’ sustainability efforts, Greencoat has made Mountaire themselves a more environmentally responsible company.

This connects back to their promise of adhering to the highest standard of quality control and operational excellence, keeping the full supply chain in mind.