Stewardship in Action: Packaging

Putting a world of difference into our packaging

Open up any Tillamook product and you’ll find great taste and quality ingredients. That goes without saying. But we believe everything we make should do more than just taste good.

Here’s how we intend to do right with our packaging choices.

Packaging Matters

It protects the quality, safety and nutritional benefits of our products. And if it’s not recycled or repurposed, packaging can deplete valuable resources and add waste. That’s why we rely on science as we carefully consider the materials we put into our packaging. It means thinking differently.

Today, we’re faced with the challenge of minimizing our impact without compromising on function, safety, and — maybe most importantly — taste.

Focused on goals, driven by passion

We’ve set ambitious, new packaging goals to hold ourselves accountable and ensure our actions now are moving us towards more sustainable packaging in the future.

Our packaging journey

A humble container of yogurt has an elaborate story that began long before it hit your table or landed in the store. And it’s one that will continue long after you’ve enjoyed the last bite. To make sure we choose the right materials, measure their impact correctly and think about every step of the journey, we use a packaging circularity model to close the loop in our sustainability efforts.

Using Science to Guide Decisions

One of the ways we measure and evaluate our packaging is by conducting a thorough, science-based LCA.

An LCA looks at the emissions associated with sourcing of materials, transportation, production and end-of-life outcomes for our packaging. By studying the emissions of our current cheese, yogurt and ice cream packaging, we have a clearer vision of what alternatives, if any, could help us reduce our environmental impact.

Data intensive? Yes.

Complex? Yes.

Worth it? Absolutely.

No matter the outcome or the cost, our belief is simple: start with science.

Our decision-making around packaging is getting more dynamic as we are thinking about everything, from the design and material selection to sourcing and consumer behavior. When we look at each of these decisions with TCCA’s larger purpose in mind, we want to provide a great product that’s good for business, our consumers and the environment.

Paul Snyder

Executive Vice President of Stewardship, TCCA

Reducing food waste through sustainable packaging

The main role of packaging is to protect product quality, shelf life and nutritional benefits as our products travel from us to you. Sometimes the more sustainable packaging solution is the one that protects and preserves food longer — even if that solution is single-use plastics.

Food waste Creates a Bigger Environmental Footprint Than Packaging

And the facts are staggering:

Nearly 30% of the world’s food supply becomes waste.

Food waste, in turn, produces 8% of greenhouse gas emissions.

In the U.S., almost 60% of food waste happens at the consumer level — which is why we’re passionate about educating consumers on their role in savoring our products and preventing food waste at home.

Our Tillamook Creamery Collection offers a reusable and recyclable cup and lid, so you can help reduce food waste right at home.

Packaging with a purpose

We’re making sustainable packaging a priority today, tomorrow and forever. It requires a series of intentional steps to move toward maximum impact. We have a lot more work to do. Here are some of the steps we’ve already taken:

30% reduction in plastic

By finding a lighter plastic for our Cheeseboards in 2019, we created a significant reduction in the product’s overall environmental footprint — while also reducing paperboard and corrugated paper usage and increasing distribution efficiency.

Preserving and minimizing

By creating resealable cracker cuts, we’ve found a new way to preserve freshness and prevent food waste in the process.

Joining forces

We know our path forward is dependent upon many factors including ensuring we continue to meet the highest quality and food safety for our consumers, complying with all applicable regulations, recycling and alternative material availability, and more. By joining the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and participating in the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy’s Packaging Working Group and other groups, we’re working together to stay informed and encourage innovation in packaging and recycling markets.

Ongoing evaluation

With three packaging LCAs completed for our cheese, yogurt and ice cream, we’re continuing to put in the work to assess our environmental impact and pursue more sustainable options.

As we continue to focus on our goals of lowering greenhouse gas emissions and minimizing our footprint, we’re looking across our entire product line. With an approach to packaging that marries science with sustainability, we’ve made some progress and we will continue to strive to make a positive impact on the planet and for the people who love our products.