A package should save
more than it costs.

It all started in the 1940s, with the search for a better way to package milk.

Something that could protect what was inside—and the people who drank it—by keeping it safe and stable, even when refrigeration wasn’t available. Something efficient, with a minimized impact on the environment.

“Doing something that nobody else had done before is actually quite hard.”

DR. RUBEN RAUSING
Founder of Tetra Pak

What we set out to do had never been done, and it took a decade of development to create the first paper-based package that could do what we had in mind. Even the way we planned to fill it (and keep it safe, healthy, and free of bacteria in the process) presented a puzzle that eventually became one of our hallmarks.

Our aseptic cartons were considered one of the most important food innovations of the 20th century.

It was an enormous challenge. But it’s how we created the first Tetra Pak carton package, the distinctive tetrahedron-shaped packaging that inspired our name with its simple, efficient design.

For over half a century, we’ve been creating carton packaging that can safely and sustainably hold liquid food—including milk, of course—to meet the needs of hundreds of millions of people every day.

Today, we’re able to get food to people everywhere, protecting them by protecting what’s inside, with only minimal impact on our environment.

At Tetra Pak, we protect what’s good.

We still abide by our founding philosophy, the idea that packaging should save more—food and resources—than it costs. It's a way of thought that matters even more today than when we started
out—and one which will matter even more tomorrow.

Tetra Pak isn’t the only one protecting what’s good.

All over the world, people are hard at work in small ways on the things that matter to all of us most, from the environment around us to the food that fuels us.

They’re changing how we raise, consume, and think about food, how we care for ourselves and our resources, and they’re sharing the kind of ideas that will change our future for the better.

They’re doing it at the grassroots, quietly and without fanfare.

We’re sharing their stories.

At Groundwork, we’re giving them the attention they deserve: yours. We’re sharing their stories so you can, too.

It’s just one small way you can make an impact. Because when it comes to innovation, inspiration, and changing the world, sometimes one good idea, shared, is all it takes.

Spread the word.

Know someone who’s doing their part to change our world from the ground up?

Give our editors the heads up

These paperboard cartons
are a big deal.

When Dr. Ruben Rausing invented a new way to package milk, he probably didn’t realize he’d just changed the world.

It didn’t take long to figure out that these cartons were perfect for packaging more than milk. Today, airtight, shelf-stable Tetra Pak® cartons are used around the world to keep juice, water, soup, olive oil, nutritional shakes, vegetables, and more safe and sound.

So how does it work?

Tetra Pak cartons use multiple layers of materials to ensure nothing gets in or out of the package. The cartons are made mostly of paperboard, with thin layers of plastic and aluminum working together to keep light, oxygen, and bacteria out, meaning no contamination and no preservatives needed. Ever.

dimensional-carton

By protecting the integrity of the product, the carton preserves both the taste of the food and all the essential nutrients stored inside.

When it comes to packaging materials, these cartons keep it to a minimum.

In fact, Tetra Pak cartons have a better package-to-product ratio than an egg. By using just the right amount of material, Tetra Pak can ensure maximum product protection while using minimal resources.

Cartons help protect more than just our foods.

Protecting our environment, our food sources, and our natural resources is an essential part of preserving our shared future. That’s why Tetra Pak is committed to using renewable materials—natural resources that replenish over time—and meeting environmentally friendly manufacturing standards.

100% of the paperboard in Tetra Pak cartons is Forest Stewardship Council Chain of Custody certified, meaning all of it can be traced back to responsibly managed forests.

And after they’ve been recycled, the cartons can be turned into tissue, paper products, and green building materials.

By using sustainably sourced, renewable materials, Tetra Pak cartons are protecting our foods, preserving our natural resources, and promoting environmentally conscious practices.

To learn more about cartons, click here.

Innovations

The Biggest Idea in Small Dairy

How community-focused infrastructure is helping rural dairy farmers and their local economies flourish.

Demand for milk in Bangladesh is over:
5x current production
The first Bangladeshi Dairy Hub now serves:
~7,000 farmers
Sri Lankan Dairy Hubs increased milk production:
From 0 to 6,000 liters per day
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What goes into getting a glass of milk?
We all know how milk works, right? Farmers milk cows, milk gets packaged into cartons, and cartons get trucked to our stores.

But that’s just one perspective—ours. In fact, dairy is a huge sector in many parts of the world, and it plays an especially significant role in the economies of developing countries. And in a lot of those places, things are actually far more complicated than that.

Whether it’s due to lack of proper cooling chains, inconsistent production from a herd, or even seasonal changes that affect output, most milk from small farms never makes it to market.

These losses leave farmers short
on income and communities
without a vital resources.

One solution: The Dairy Hub model.
The Dairy Hub is a revolutionary model aimed at helping small, rural farms to become more productive and more profitable. These conveniently located milk collection and cooling stations are designed to give small producers in the same geographic area access to much-needed facilities.

Farmers deliver milk to the collection station twice a day, where they also receive training and learn techniques that can help them turn their subsistence dairy farming into a more reliable business.

It all starts by helping farmers re-learn the ropes.

With milk, everything ultimately depends on the animals. Education by dairy experts like Morgan Tinnberg, a former military man and experienced dairy farmer who’s set up a number of Dairy Hubs, are a huge part of the concept. It’s that education that helps farmers take better care of their herd—and, ultimately, to produce more milk.

“The key to success is making sure that farmers involved in the Dairy Hub project have unlimited access to the market through dedicated processors that understand the value of having the raw milk supplied from domestic rural areas,” said Tinnberg.

Healthier cows mean more milk,
and more milk means more
money for local farmers.

Take the Dairy Hub in Nicaragua for example. Before the hub was installed, local farmers operated on the “I Think” model (i.e., “I think this cow is healthy” or “I think that’s enough food”). But with improved feeding models and animal husbandry techniques learned from the Dairy Hub, farmers had the information needed to increase production and improve the quality of the milk and an outlet to market.

Featured Exhibit

Home of the Dairy Hubs

See where existing and planned Dairy Hub models are being implemented to help support farmers around the world.

Bangladesh

Over a 60-month period at one Dairy Hub in Bangladesh, the average daily milk yield per cow rose 143%, and the average monthly income for farmers rose 144%.

Nicaragua

Nicaragua is the second largest dairy producer in Central America, but their milk yield per cow has been declining over the last 50 years. After the introduction of a similar milk collection model, one farm doubled its daily production per cow.

Sri Lanka

In Jaffna, Sri Lanka, an area ravaged by civil war, the Dairy Hub program built the dairy infrastructure from the ground up. Since the project began in 2013, milk production has gone from zero to 6,000 liters per day.

Senegal

In Senegal, the milk industry revolves around imported powdered milk. Since milk production is far below domestic needs, the country imports around twice as much milk as it produces locally.

Kenya

In Kenya, 95% of milk goes unprocessed. With the help of the Dairy Hub project, the dairy sector could quadruple in size to over 300 billion Kenyan Shillings (approx. $2.8 million USD).

But it’s not just farmers who benefit.
The more milk on the market, the more room there is for buyers and sellers on down the supply chain. Now that farmers aren’t limited by the distance they can travel or the volume of milk they can carry, processors, distributors, shopkeepers, and other stakeholders all benefit.

Dairy Hubs impact every aspect
of the supply chain,
from farmer to consumer.

The Dairy Hub model also helps protect the health and wellness of the people who drink the milk.

Milk is still a major source of vitamins and nutrients for those living in small farming communities worldwide. Not only does the Dairy Hub model make this commodity even more accessible to those communities, but because the collection and refrigeration all take place under one roof, the risk of contamination is minimized, ensuring a safer, higher-quality end product.

Dairy Hubs are reshaping the future of farming.
In many rural areas around the world, people have limited access to other resources—not just milk—and community-focused farming infrastructure like Dairy Hubs can help farmers everywhere keep producing the goods needed to keep their communities well-fed and healthy, while driving local economies at the same time.

How do we know it’s working? “We see a clear impact of the Dairy Hubs in the societies where they are in operation. Increased income and purchasing power among thousands of farmers bring in new shops with more sophisticated goods and an influx of different service providers, which means more jobs in the area as well,” said Tinnberg.

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We make food & beverage cartons that protect what's good by keeping the food inside them safe and sound. Recyclable and made with renewable materials, every single carton is part of our groundwork for a shared, healthier future.Learn more

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