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SAO PAULO, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Brazil's largest coffee cooperative Cooxupe said on Thursday it had started using a new kind of packaging to export arabica coffee in partnership with paper and pulp company Klabin SA, and sent its first shipment to Italy in December.
The new packaging has 30-kilogram capacity, half of the traditional 60-kg jute bags that coffee exporters have used for centuries. It aims to conserve the quality of the coffee for longer, Cooxupe said in an e-mailed statement.
Italy will import another 16,700 bags in coming months, according to Cooxupe, which exported 4.2 million bags of coffee in 2015, 14 percent of Brazil's exports.
Cooxupe did not give information on costs of the new packaging, though traders and cooperatives have largely been replacing the traditional jute bags with 1-tonne plastic "super sacks" to save costs.
The coop said, however, that the smaller paper bags fit better in shipping containers and allow for an extra tonne per container than with 60-kg bags. (Reporting by Roberto Samora; Writing by Caroline Stauffer)