Fresh Produce Impact Hub (FRESHPPACT) – Trip to Ghana March 2024 – Creating the Global Difference By Addressing Significant Social and Environmental Issues Within Fresh Produce Supply Chains.

Beanstalk Global is excited to be the media partner within a team set to travel to Ghana soon, providing coverage on the developments in two critical challenges: exploring potential solutions related to plastic agricultural mulch and plastic packaging.

FRESHPPACT is a Research and Development Hub which stands for the Fresh Produce Impact Hub, which is currently being funded by the UK FCDO. The primary aim of FRESHPPACT is to bring together various industry and research partners to quickly develop innovative solutions to address significant social and environmental issues within fresh produce supply chains that originate from developing or emerging economies. These issues include, but are not limited to, single-use plastic packaging, pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, modern-day slavery, habitat loss, and living wage. The R&D Hub is currently focused on accelerating the implementation of the most promising solutions to combat plastic pollution by utilizing a rapid evaluation, testing, and adoption process.

The Challenge

Plastic’s pervasive use since the 1950s has led to significant environmental impact, with over 8.3 billion tons produced globally, affecting terrestrial and marine ecosystems and contributing to climate change. The U.N. reports that the plastic life cycle, from production to disposal, influences global warming. In 2018, the world produced 359 million metric tons of plastic, with a considerable portion mismanaged. Ghana faces its challenges, generating 840,000 tons of plastic waste annually, with limited recycling. Government and environmental efforts, like the 2015 plastic bag ban, aim to mitigate these issues, but substantial challenges remain.

Our Solutions

FRESHPPACT’s efforts are focused on two key challenge areas: plastic agricultural mulch and plastic packaging. FRESHPPACT is actively working with Data Solutions Hub and a Ghanaian company, Coco360 to help address the pollution that stems from the use of plastic mulch. Coco360 Ghana converts waste (fibres) from coconut husk into coconut mulch sheets, which could end up reducing the reliance on plastic mulch, thereby contributing to pollution reduction. Data Solutions Hub is developing modular equipment that can be used to remove mulch materials from the soil, saving energy and costs of removal, as well as promoting circularity.

To help address plastic packaging, FRESHPPACT is also working with Kelpi Ltd, who are converting seaweed into packaging films and pouches.

Visit to Ghana

The visit to Ghana marks a critical milestone for the FRESHPPACT project, as it will initiate a comprehensive trial aimed at conducting a comparative research experiment of various mulching innovative and sustainable mulching solutions. The main objective of this experiment is two-fold;

a) To assess how the mulching alternatives compare in their ability to retain moisture, suppress weeds and support high yield;

b)  To assess the individual capability and potential of the mulching alternatives as innovative and sustainable farming practices which can be adopted as alternatives to plastic agricultural mulch.

The alternative mulching materials to be tested are bio-based and made from materials such as coconut husks and other agricultural waste. If successful, this test could provide a path for Ghanaian farmers to adopt more sustainable farming practices, significantly contributing to the nation’s soil fertility and food security in the short, medium, and long term.

In addition to conducting research, the FRESHPPACT team will be organising a Plastics Roundtable Stakeholder event on Wednesday 20th March from 10am to 1pm at the factory and premises of Blue Skies Ghana in Dobro. The roundtable event will aim to convene key stakeholders to discuss plastic pollution mitigation in Ghana, showcasing the innovative solutions being developed and tested to address the significant environmental challenges raised by the plastic pollution in Ghana. The event will feature presentations and policy discussions, which emphasise the socio-economic and food security benefits of sustainable practices.

To find out more about the aims of and to get directly involved with FRESHPPACT, please CLICK THIS LINK.

Watch out for our Beanstalk daily VLOGS whilst we our out there on our social media platforms as well as our end of trip film. Any enquiries regarding the planned trip to Ghana with FRESHPPACT, please contact Max MacGillivray at +44 (0)1284 715055 or email

FRESHPPACT consortium members include Blue Skies, Waitrose & Partners, HPW Fresh and Dry and Primafruit. The University of Northampton Centre for Sustainable Business Practices (CSBP) has been appointed the Coordinating Research and Project Management Partner.

Images: Beanstalk Global