Fresh salad is one of the most delicate types of foods. It can be easily damaged by crushing and it gets dehydrated quickly. This gives its leaves a limp and lifeless aspect, making it nearly impossible to sell, even highly discounted. This is why foldable crates for vegetables represent an essential element in the fresh salad supply chain.
And this will be showcased in this case study, involving a top European producer and distributor of a large variety of bulk and pre-packaged salads.
The Client’s Problem: Significant Losses during Harvest and Shipping
The client owns and has partnerships with farms growing a wide variety of salads. These farms are located all over the Europe, providing consumers with a rich variety of salads, from local types to fragrant Mediterranean and exotic varieties.
Despite diligent efforts, the company sustains product loss on every harvest and during transport from the farm to the processing facility where the salad is sorted, washed and packaged. After experimenting with cardboard boxes and wooden crates, the company realized that they needed professional advice on the issue of packaging materials.
Logistic Packaging Consultants Analyze the Client’s Situation
The first step in any new packaging project we undertake is understanding the client’s problem. Our consultants watched presentations of the typical harvesting and shipping process, as well as data sheets showcasing losses.We also took into consideration the fact that the company positions itself as a sustainable provider of healthy food. Thus, they are looking for packaging solutions that meet a series of requirements:
- Adequate for food contact
- Sturdy and with a long lifespan
- Made of sustainable materials
- Fully recyclable at the end of the useful life.
Our Recommendation: Foldable Crates for Vegetables
After a careful analysis of all the requirements, the Logistic Packaging experts found the ideal packaging solution for the client: 600 x 400 x 220 mm foldable crates for vegetables. This reusable packaging solution meets all the conditions for the storage and transport of fresh salad:
- Base and walls with perforations to ensure proper ventilation
- Large capacity – 44 l, ideal for harvesting activities
- Made of PP, a byproduct of oil processing and 100% recyclable
- Strong build, having a stack load capacity of up to 300 kg
- Provided with open handles on the short sides for easy manipulation
- Reduced cost of ownership as it is possible to replace damaged parts with spare ones.
We presented the solution to the client and demonstrated its sturdiness in standard tests. Also, we showed the space saving feature of the foldable crate for vegetables, which reduce their volume by 70% when the walls are folded down on the base.
The Client Tests Our Solution on a Pilot Farm
The company ordered an initial batch of crates to be used on one of its farms. Within a few months, the reports on product damage showed great improvement, with nearly 22% decrease in the average quantity of crushed or wilted salad.
Following the successful test, we worked closely with the client to implement the new packaging solution on all its facilities, quickly and effectively phasing out the old packages. `
We continued our post-sale assistance by communicating with the client on any perceived improvements and issues with the use of the foldable containers for vegetables. During the entire period, all the reports were received indicated great satisfaction with the new packages at all levels.
Farm and warehouse workers found the new crates more ergonomic and safer to use. They could complete the loading and unloading process faster and with no incidents. In the warehouse, the space freed by the folded empty containers was repurposed as extra loading bay for the trucks delivering the salad from the farm.
Finally, the rate of damaged produce is constantly dropping, allowing the company to increase its revenues.
At Logistic Packaging, we have an effective solution for any packaging challenge. Send us an email to start discussing your project with one of our experienced consultants!