Fresh fruit and vegetables are among the best selling food types, but also the most sensitive ones. From the moment they are harvested in farms and until they end on the client’s kitchen table there is an interval of several days. During all this period, the fresh produce must be preserved in specific conditions of temperature, humidity and ventilation to remain edible and keep all their nutritious properties. The team of packaging experts of Logistic Packaging has a simple but efficient recommendation for these products: reusable plastic crates.
A Delicate and Complex Supply Chain
Going back a little further down the supply chain, we recommend using reusable plastic packages throughout the entire supply chain, not just for packing the fruit and vegetables for shipping to stores.
A lot of fresh produce is lost at the earliest moment – during harvest time – because they are placed in inadequate containers that crush, bruise or otherwise damage them. All these products cannot be resold to end customers, but sent to canning factories, for a smaller price, of course.
Large pallet containers, by contrast, have smooth inner walls and, when necessary, ventilated side to offer optimal protection even to the most sensitive types of fresh fruit, such as cherries or grapes. These large plastic containers can be safely kept in warehouses with a controlled atmosphere (temperature, humidity) until the products are ready for repackaging in smaller crates to ship to stores.
Reusable Plastic Crates – No Compromises on Safety and Freshness
Consumers nowadays are savvy and have many shopping options. They know exactly what they are looking for in each product, from the simplest ones (lettuce, tomatoes) to the more exotic varieties (avocado, mango, papaya, etc.). They know how fresh produce looks and feels and they will easily recognize those that do not fit their needs.
Packed in reusable plastic crates, your products will stay fresh for a longer time. Thus, you will maximize your chances of selling the entire quantity of fresh produce – or as much of it as possible.
During many years of closely working with producers and retailers of fresh fruit and vegetables, the Logistic Packaging team identified these extremely important benefits, as relayed to us by our clients:
1. Uncompromising Safety during Transport and Storage
Reusable plastic containers have ventilated sides and walls. Thus, the fresh produce receives sufficient air to prevent the onset of mold and mildew. Also, the smooth inner walls are ideal for preventing marking on the surface of even the most tender and delicate products.
As a side benefit, our clients noted that natural ventilation thanks to the reusable plastic crates helped them reduce water consumption. Traditionally, they would have to sprinkle the produce to prevent dehydration and wilting.
2. Reliable to Use in the Cold Chain
Reusable plastic crates can be transported in frigorific trucks without damaging them. The containers are made of virgin materials approved for food contact. This means that there is no risk of dangerous chemicals leaking and being absorbed by your fresh fruit and vegetables.
3. Extended Shelf Life
Professional packaging materials for farming and the food industry are designed to offer you maximum benefits in every possible aspect. One specific area noted by our clients is an improvement in the average shelf life for various types of fresh produce, from mushrooms to grapes and tomatoes.
In average, these products lasted two days more without any sign of wilting/ going bad compared to products kept in other types of crates and boxes.
4. Easy to Handle by Employees
Reusable plastic crates are designed to help your employees lift them and place them on shelves quickly and safely. The open handles are ergonomic and offer adequate grip and comfort.
Thus, your employees will be able to replenish the fresh produce aisle as soon as it is necessary to satisfy all your customers.
5. Low Total Cost of Ownership
All the professional packaging materials we produce are the result of continuous R&D work to help our clients achieve a good ROI. The reusable plastic crates, like the rest of our plastic packages, are sturdy, easy to clean and sanitize and 100% recyclable at the end of their useful life. Thus, you will accumulate a lower total cost of cost of ownership and will manage to optimize your operational and logistic spending.
Our packaging experts are ready to help you improve your profitability by extending shelf life for your fresh produce and reducing the overall quantity of damaged products. Send us an email or schedule a live Skype call with our consultants to discuss your project!