Putting more reusable packaging items on the market? Conserverie et Moutarderie belge is on it! The family business makes organic sauces, dressings and bread and sandwich spreads under the “Maria & Franz” brand. The company has signed up to the collective deposit return scheme run by Foodprint, thereby giving their glass jars a second lease of life.
Conserverie et Moutarderie belge got under way 70 years ago in the garage of Maria and Franz Schumacher in Raeren, a small town in the province of Liège. Nowadays, the business is helmed by their grandchildren Rachel, Raphaël and Laurent. In 2022, the third generation decided to stop making their products solely for their business customers and launched their own brand. Since then, the company has been producing organic sauces, dressings and bread and sandwich spreads under the “Maria & Franz” brand name, with a strong focus on the local roots aspect.
Local deposit return scheme cuts CO2 emissions by 79%
Precisely because of this local embedment, the company joined a circular glass deposit return scheme which is run by start-up business Foodprint. The concept is straightforward enough: Foodprint supplies food producers with glass jars, the producers fill the jars and Foodprint delivers the products to the shops. At the shops, consumers pay a 15 cent deposit per jar. Once they have used the jar’s content, the consumers return the jars washed and cleaned to the shop and get their deposit back. Foodprint then collects the empty jars and takes them to the washing facility.
This kind of local deposit return scheme comes with a wide range of benefits. Co-managing director Raphaël Renson: “We are reducing our packaging waste from glass to zero, glass packaging items get a second lease of life and are consistently returned to the same, closed loop circuit. In addition, we are slashing our CO2 emissions by 79% and we are creating local jobs in the social economy.
This scheme contributes to achieving the target the Belgian food industry has set itself to put only recyclable, reusable or biodegradable packaging items on the market by 2025. Keen to find out more?
Towards greater inclusivity
Conserverie et Moutarderie belge works closely with a sheltered workshop in Eupen, a town in Eastern Belgium, where people with and without disabilities work, giving them the opportunity to work side by side on an equal footing and to excel on the strength of their skills.
“Together, we do our utmost to deliver a product that is guaranteed sustainable, local, family-oriented, high quality product”, Raphaël goes on to say. “Various products - mainly sauces and dressings -, are bottled and labelled at the ‘Beschützende Werkstätte’. What started out as a business relationship has evolved into a friendly relationship.”