Report: Growers that Partner with CHEP and IFCO Increase Efficiency, Reduce Costs, and Generate Impressive Sustainability Returns

Report: Growers that Partner with CHEP and IFCO Increase Efficiency, Reduce Costs, and Generate Impressive Sustainability Returns

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SAN ANTONIO, TX - Rapid growth is the new normal for fresh produce, and to keep in step with that growth, the industry needs top-notch solution providers pushing us forward. Enter CHEP and IFCO—a leading supply chain solutions provider and leading supplier of reusable fresh food packaging, respectively, who recently took to the show floor at Viva Fresh 2018 to tout its commitment to supply chain efficiency, sustainability solutions, and grower success stories.

Rick Overholt, Director of Sales, Produce, CHEP“We are committed to providing growers with the products and solutions they need to provide their customers and consumers with year-round access to high-quality, nutritious, and affordable fresh food,” said Rick Overholt, Director of Sales, Produce, for CHEP. “Our platforms, containers, and supply chain solutions, combined with our expertise and global network advantage, form a winning combination that helps growers meet their marketplace and social responsibility goals.”

When our reporters spoke to the CHEP and IFCO team on the Viva show floor, Rick was happy to expound upon this sentiment.

“We have different programs that we have worked on with our customers. One of the biggest ones for produce has been customer storage. It drives very good environmental sustainability benefits, and it helps the customer get off to a very solid start to the season and have some inventory that is ready to go,” Rick shared.
Gregory Kurkjian and Rick Overholt at the 2018 Viva Fresh Produce Expo

In a press release, CHEP and IFCO named a few growers who have found success with the companies’ solutions over the last 24 months. Winning partnerships include:

Tanimura & Antle:

  • CHEP and IFCO eliminated more than 5 million pounds of carbon emissions, saved nearly 92 million gallons of water, eliminated over 4 million pounds of food waste, eliminated the solid waste produced by more than 3,000 homes annually, and saved enough energy to power over 32,000 homes for one year.

Pure Flavor®:

  • Partnered with IFCO to ensure on time delivery of its fresh produce during peak harvest seasons, maximize operational efficiency, and reduce costs through the using IFCO Reusable Plastic Containers. IFCO and Pure Flavor developed a forecasting model to track the company’s produce orders and growing seasons, ensuring on-time delivery of the right number and type of RPCs throughout the year. In addition, some RPCs are stored on-site, providing the Pure Flavor operations group with greater flexibility to manage its product flow. IFCO now provides Pure Flavor with over one million RPCs annually.

Grimmway Farms:

  • Partnered with CHEP to eliminate more than 1.63 million pounds of solid waste and more than 1.23 million pounds of CO2e from its supply chain. CHEP also identified process improvements to reduce pallet damage, reduce costs, and further improve sustainability.

Melon 1:

  • Increased efficiency and sustainability with CHEP’s pallet storage program and through its conversion to CHEP shared (pooled) pallets for international shipments. In addition, since 2009, as the result of Melon 1’s share and reuse of CHEP pooled (shared) pallets, the company has reduced nearly 1.3 million pounds of carbon emissions and kept nearly 1.7 million pounds of solid waste out of landfills.

Wholesum Harvest:

  • Converted to CHEP shared (pooled) pallets, which helped the company generate improved sustainability returns and meet its social responsibility goals, helping to provide 30,000 Mexican families with sustainable plancha wood stoves.

Craig Kelly, Vice President, Grower Sales, IFCO“No one understands the supply chain needs of growers better than IFCO and CHEP, and we know from experience the best solutions are achieved through partnership and collaboration with growers and the entire fresh food supply chain,” finished Craig Kelly, Vice President, Grower Sales, IFCO, in the release. “That is what separates us from our competitors.”

A major point that CHEP and IFCO wanted to highlight during its meeting at Viva Fresh was their commitment to sustainability. CHEP and IFCO noted they are committed to achieving a sustainable circular economy, and parent company Brambles detailed its environmental stewardship progress in its 2017 Sustainability Review, including the progress it has made in meeting its 2020 sustainability goals.

Gregory Kurkjian, VP of Retail Sales, IFCO“To say it concisely, RPCs use less energy [and] use less water. They have lower smog [and] lower carbon emissions. Probably, most importantly to the retail trade, is that we lower food waste, which is incredibly important to the industry,” Gregory Kurkjian, VP of Retail Sales for IFCO, told ANUK.

And to learn more on exciting announcements launched at this year’s Viva Fresh, stay tuned to AndNowUKnow.


Companies in this Story

Grimmway Farms

Family-owned and operating in Bakersfield, California, Grimmway Farms traces its roots to a produce stand started by the…

IFCO Systems Worldwide

IFCO is the leading global provider of reusable packaging options for fresh foods, serving customers in 50+ countries.…

Tanimura & Antle

Founded in 1982, Tanimura & Antle is an industry-leading, grower-packer-shipper with a passionate commitment to…

Pure Flavor

Pure Flavor® is a family of greenhouse fruit & vegetable growers who share a commitment to bringing A Life of Pure…


Wholesum, a certified organic produce grower and distributor, is one of North America’s fastest growing providers of…


Brambles, through its CHEP and IFCO brands, enhances customers' supply-chain performance by helping them transport goods…

Melon 1

Melon 1 is one of the largest watermelon shippers in the United States with three generations of growing, handling &…