(Oct. 25) Earthcycle Packaging Ltd., Vancouver, British Columbia, has a new partnership with Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based fruit firm Ecoripe Tropicals.

Earthcycle president Shannon Boase said Ecoripe contacted Earthcycle after reading about the firm’s compostable palm fiber packaging.

The co-branding deal features nine of Ecoripe’s solo papayas per box in Earthcycle’s biodegradable trays. The Guatemala-made trays are distributed in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Boase said Earthcycle formed in Nov. 2005 and she said the increase in oil prices and supply issues has propelled the produce industry’s move toward natural packaging like the palm fiber trays.

Product from a variety of fresh produce firms can be found in Earthcycle packages carried by Wal-Mart, Publix, Kroger, Loblaw and other major retailers.