Co-op in produce container switch

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The Co-operative is to switch from using its own nestable crates for fresh produce suppliers to using IFCO’s foldable returnable plastic containers.

The aim is to alleviate the issues faced with inbound products arriving in cardboard boxes, including collapse due to moisture and other box damage, inefficiency due to lack of standardisation in box sizes and food waste of up to 2 per cent.

Paul Bennell, The Co-operative Group’s head of primary logistics, said: “The switch from company-owned nestable crates for fresh produce suppliers to IFCO’s managed, foldable crate solution was made in support of our strategy to focus on customers, provide simpler processes for stores and streamline end to end logistics.”

IFCO, part of Brambles, operates a pool of more than 180 million reusable plastic containers globally, which are used primarily to transport fresh produce from growers to leading grocery retailers. UK managing director Chris Taylor said: “Suppliers are able to choose the correct tray size for their products to minimize the transport of fresh air, remove cost and improve efficiency.”

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