SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa’s leading mushroom brand, Denny Mushrooms owned by Libstar Holdings has launched its100% compostable punnets in the South African market.

The compostable punnets are made from Bagasse, which is a natural by-product of sugarcane refinement, the fibre that remains after sugarcane stalks are crushed to extract their juice.

The pulp requires minimal processing and elemental chlorine-free (ECF) bleaching to turn it into a woven, high-strength paper that is biodegradable and compostable.

The compostable punnet and shrink-wrap covering, which is recyclable, results in a more sustainably-packaged product.

They will be available at selected Spars restaurants around the country where they have been mainly supplying their wide range of mushroom products.

CEO of Denny Mushrooms, Ryan Cotterell, said, “Our 100% compostable punnet gives us the opportunity to lead the way and do what is right for the environment.”

“This initiative supports the wholesome nature of our product and Denny is incredibly proud to be pioneering new ground.”

As the current market leader, Denny supplies roughly half the nation’s mushrooms with a series of products which include fresh, soup and sauce mushrooms.

Denny’s mushrooms are grown using waste from wheat production (straw) and chicken farming, together with a reverse osmosis water purification process.

The spent substrate (compost) from the mushroom growing process is then used to return nutrients back to the soil in the agricultural sector.

By taking steps to add environmentally responsible packaging as an alternative for consumers, the mushroom supplier says it’s getting closer to its brand vision of a 360° health cycle for the future.

Mid this year, Private equity firm Actis acquired 37.02% stake in Libstar Holdings held by Abraaj Private Equity Fund IV (APEF IV).

Libstar has also increased capacity and entered high-growth categories over the past year, buying Sonnendal Dairies, ready-to-eat food manufacturer Millennium Foods and Khoisan Tea.