Story | 09/24/2015 09:32:00

Thinner labels are a step towards the future

An environmentally conscious egg producer has chosen the new label material from UPM Raflatac for their egg cartons. Although the label is thinner, the material delivers an increased quality of print.

Why do consumers choose Toni’s eggs?

When preparing breakfast, an Austrian consumer ponders the origin of the eggs they are using.

Is there any printed information to be found? Yes, indeed! The details of the farm in question can be found on the enclosed leaflet. If the consumer so wishes, they could trace the eggs produced by Toni’s Freilandeier back to the specific farmer. What's more, the consumer will also discover that the chickens are free to roam in their natural environment, and that their feed is not genetically modified in any way.

The producer of the eggs, Toni Hubmann, invests in chicken farming that complies with highest standards — a fact that hasn’t gone unnoticed by consumers. Many people enjoy free-range eggs; around 70 million eggs are consumed each year in Austria and Germany.

However, Toni Hubmann selects his farmers and other partners with great care. Companies that focus on ecological aspects support his sustainable business strategy.

The egg cartons used by Toni’s Freilandeier may seem like a simple enough product, but they show a great deal of innovation, particularly the label. Read the following chapters to find out more.

Why is Toni Hubmann interested in labels?

Toni Hubmann is one of Austria's biggest egg producers. He invested in free-range chickens at an early stage and was convinced long before the rest of the world that consumers would come to place more and more emphasis on environmental issues. As a responsible entrepreneur, he strives to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, as well as energy and water consumption, in his operations. In terms of feed, he only uses soy that is produced within the European Union.

“Nowadays, it is extremely important that we are careful in how we go about using resources. This isn't just an issue for society, but one that affects us all. We keep this in mind every day when going about our work,” says Hubmann.

Even cartons and labels are included in the sustainable development strategy. Hubmann is more than aware of how effective the labels are: Instead of simple product details, the labels contain numerous messages on environmental friendliness and the recyclability of the packaging materials, for instance.

In 2014, Toni Hubmann switched to using new labels for his cartons. The result was even better than he expected. Once again, Toni’s Freilandeier is a step ahead of the crowd — the new label is thinner and more environmentally friendly than the previous version. In fact, it leads the way for the food industry as a whole.

Why did Helf Etiketten choose a thinner label stock?

Toni Hubmann heard about the new label material from his long-standing business partner, Helf Etiketten. The printer is situated just around the corner from Vienna in Neudorf, and recently launched a programme called Vision 2020. It concentrates on both ecologically and socially sustainable development. Raflacoat Fit PEFC from UPM Raflatac is a fit with Helf Etiketten’s principles regarding sustainable label production.

The combination of Raflacoat Fit PEFC label face and HG45 PEFC liner represents the next-generation market standard for food, retail and logistics labelling. The label face material is thinner, while its processing properties are similar to the previous 80 g/m² mid-gloss paper. The liner, on the other hand, offers the best environmental performance of all liners currently available on the market.

Helf Etiketten has gained numerous advantages with the new label material. The lighter weight makes laminate rolls with up to 6,000 running metres of material possible. Longer rolls require fewer changes, meaning less downtime and higher productivity. This also means more labels on a roll, and the rolls themselves are lighter and easier to manage.

Reduced disposal costs also deliver savings.

“In Austria, the disposal of liner material is strictly regulated, so weight plays an important role,” explains Operations Manager Hannes Fink. Fink is satisfied with the thinness of the label material, as well as its printing properties. Toni Hubmann agrees. “I'd even say that the print quality has improved,” Hubmann says happily.

How does the new adhesive material improve recyclability?

Helf Etiketten chose an environmentally friendly label material because it represents the next-generation market standard for labelling. The printer also takes part in UPM Raflatac’s RafCycle® recycling programme, under which the liner and converting waste is collected and delivered to UPM’s paper mill in Germany. In the UPM Plattling paper mill, label waste is recycled back to paper instead of going to the landfill.

The labels in the packages from Toni’s Freilandeier are yet another link in UPM’s value chain of sustainable development. Just like the consumers who are eager to find out the origin of their eggs, UPM ensures the origin of its wood materials. PEFC certification ensures that the raw materials are sourced from sustainably managed forests.

Toni Hubmann chose a new label material to reduce water and energy consumption, as well as disposal costs. Now he is the pioneer. Consumers choose eggs produced by Toni’s Freilandeier because they want to know what they are putting in their mouths. Eggs from free-range chickens just taste so much better.


Helen Partti

Photographs: UPM and Toni’s Freilandeier