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.

Innovation

The Swiss Army Knife of Sustainable Farming

A San Francisco startup has found a way to transform almost any two-acre plot into fertile farmland.

Small farms produce over:
50% of the world’s food
People without access to healthy food worldwide:
800+ million
Each Farm from a Box
can feed:
150 people per year
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Brought to you by:

Efficient, productive farming requires a sophisticated irrigation system, top-notch tools, and lots of energy and manpower. Or just a giant box.

Meet the Swiss Army Knife of sustainable farming.
Developed by a team of philanthropists in California, Farm from a Box (or FFAB) is a revolutionary, all-in-one system designed to turn any two-acre plot into a viable farm.

The so-called “Swiss army knife of sustainable farming” uses a single modified shipping container to house and deliver everything an off-the-grid farm needs to get up and running, conserve water, and generate clean energy from the moment the container arrives at its destination.

Turning barren into bountiful,
anywhere in the world.

This all-in-one sustainable farming solution isn’t just a cool idea—it’s already hard at work. A prototype model, aptly named “Adam,” is currently in operation in Sonoma, California, where its two-acre farm is providing a nearby culinary school with local produce.

So, what’s in the box?
FFAB comes in a range of options with varying levels of tech and capabilities, but even at its most basic it’s farm-ready. It’s got seedlings, hand tools, and instructions on getting started; a micro-drip irrigation system capable of watering the whole plot; solar panels to generate its own electricity, rechargeable batteries for portable power…and a 3,000-watt generator just in case.

It also comes equipped with weather tracking devices, land-mapping and soil-monitoring software, and built in WiFi to help the farm stay connected.

Featured Exhibit

How a Box Becomes a Farm

In this infographic, we’ll show you how Farm from a Box compresses everything needed to run a sustainable two-acre farm into a single shipping container.

Irrigation System

Getting the right amount of water to crops is absolutely essential. The FFAB’s micro-drip irrigation system is designed to ensure precise water delivery, while also cutting down on labor and maintenance costs.

Seeding House

Before they go into the ground, it’s helpful to give seedlings a head start. The included seeding house lets farmers tend to their newly sprouted seeds in a protected, more controlled environment before transferring them into the plot when they’re ready.

3 kW of Solar Power

For farms far away from a power grid, the FFAB comes equipped with solar panels capable of harnessing, storing, and using 3 kW of sustainable solar power.

Water Purification

Contaminated water can pose a danger to farmers and their crops, so every FFAB is outfitted with a filtration system that can ensure water is clean for consumption and other usage.

Pumping Station

Depending on where the FFAB is deployed, water might be in short supply. That’s why every unit comes complete with a pumping station that can connect to a variety of water sources, from groundwater wells to municipal lines.

Basic Farming Tools

Even with FFAB’s high-tech advances, farming still requires a lot of hard work and elbow grease. That’s why every unit includes a full set of standard farming tools like shovels, trowels, and rakes that are ready to help farmers start tending their fields

Most importantly, it brings food where it’s most needed.
The FFAB can be implemented anywhere, but it really shines in rural communities where resources, infrastructure, and technology are scarce and food shortages are frequent. Its compactness and mobility make it an ideal solution for remote villages and food deserts, and it can be deployed after natural disasters to provide emergency aid in affected areas.

But the farms do more than just feed.
In developing countries, agriculture plays a large part in local economies, and innovations like FFAB and Dairy Hubs, which support smallholder dairy farmers in developing countries, can make a huge impact. These systems help bring more capital into the local economies, which in turn leads to an influx of resources and new jobs.

“Farm from a Box
enables and empowers
communities to provide
for themselves.”

Brandi DeCarli
FFAB Co-founder

Innovations like these can also help tackle social issues in developing countries. Take the company’s second prototype, “Lucy,” for example. This fully functional FFAB will be deployed in Ethiopia’s Rift Valley and run by a local cooperative whose goal is to empower and employ women.

Anyone can work a Farm from a Box,
and everyone in the
community can benefit from it.

The future of sustainability is self-contained.
By giving the power of food production back to the people, projects like FFAB are contributing to a more sustainable future worldwide. This just goes to show that sometimes thinking outside the box starts from inside, well, a shipping container.

Photos courtesy of Farm from a Box
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Brought to you by 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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