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Meadow Fresh: tell your customers the whole story

29 November 2005

Come on Meadow Fresh; tell your customers the whole story

Green Party Spokesperson on Waste Nandor Tanczos is accusing Meadow Fresh of misleading its customers in a bid to defend its plan to axe milk in glass bottles.

Meadow Fresh has been delivering glossy brochures to customers implying that its decision to close its milk bottling plant is due to environmental concerns about glass milk bottles, coupled with declining demand.

"If they want to be taken seriously, Meadow Fresh must provide a full life cycle analysis of Tetra Paks compared to glass. Their reliance on half truths is transparent and insulting," Nandor says.

The brochure states that the 600ml glass washing process uses 14,300 litres of caustic soda a year and burns 96,000 litres of furnace oil.

"What they don't provide are the amounts of energy and chemicals used to make Tetra Paks, or the amount of fossil fuels used to ship them from Scandinavia.

"Nor do they provide information about how the Tetra Paks are to be disposed of, since there are no facilities in this country to recycle them. In fact the 600ml Tetra Tops are even harder to deal with because they combine plastic with card, which need to be separated before the materials can be reprocessed. At best they will be shipped overseas, otherwise buried in landfills. Either way, local councils will pick up the tab".

The brochure claims that the bottles end up in landfills as they are often not recycled.

"It is hard to see where they get that idea from. Most people return their empties when they get a new bottle, and any that don't get returned will usually be picked up at waste recovery centres and broken down for reuse."

Meadow Fresh claims in the brochure that transporting heavier bottles to and from homes uses more fossil fuels. It also says sales of milk bottles are down 18 percent on last year.

"Is this the signal that home deliveries will cease? Once again the company is relying on half-truths. Individuals driving their cars to the supermarkets or dairies for a top up pint of milk are far more inefficient than milk deliveries.

"The drop in sales is as much about their lack of promotion as anything else. Meadow Fresh has been disinvesting in milk bottles and it shows. Even simple fliers in letterboxes has increased some milk vendors customer base by 10 percent in seven months," Nandor says.

The company also claim food safety issues. They cite no studies to back this statement up and provide no reports from concerned consumers.

"I am asking Meadow Fresh to tell the whole truth, not just the bits that make their case sound good."


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