George and Ben Bostock With Compostable Packaging

Hawke’s Bay’s organic chicken producer, Bostock Brothers, has developed New Zealand’s first home compostable meat packaging made from corn sources and wood pulp. Bostock Brothers co-owners, Ben and George Bostock worked with the Hamilton-based company, Convex, to create the packaging. Moving away from conventional plastics towards a more environmentally friendly option made from renewable, plant materials, there is excitement surrounding its innovative design.

“We started looking at more environmentally-friendly options for our packaging over a year ago,” said Ben. “Putting meat in compostable packaging obviously poses challenges given the nature of the product. But we have worked hard to successfully develop a compostable option that works.”

Wanting to be part of the drive to get rid of plastics and be leaders in their industry, Bostock Brothers was founded in 2014 as New Zealand’s first orchard based organic free-range chicken farm. With consumers more aware of where their food comes from and wanting to know the full story; Bostock Brothers are totally transparent and are passionate about farming sustainably to reduce their environmental impact.

“We are totally transparent and want to show the best way chickens are raised in New Zealand. It’s farming sustainably, not only on the farm but right the way through to the consumer, including the packaging.”

Films used to make the 'Econic' packaging are certified to the European and American compostability standards as there is currently no official compostable standard in New Zealand. “We are pro-regulation and would like to see New Zealand quickly develop home compostable standards too, so our consumers can be assured they are buying products which are compostable. We are calling on the industry to regulate so there is some assurance. We are educating consumers ourselves and providing the necessary information they need to dispose of our packaging. It would certainly help if we had better regulation in New Zealand.”

The new chicken packaging is compostable when disposed of in a home compost environment containing heat, water, oxygen, soil and micro-organisms. Bostock Brothers’ compostable packaging will be another point of difference they can offer that will also set them apart from the big corporate chicken producers and give the environmentally conscious consumers a choice.

“Home composters do need to use plenty of soil and get the air moving through their compost heaps or green bins to ensure the composting process works properly. We are trying to inform people how a compost actually works.”