Defense Commissary Agency Deploys IFCO RPCs, CHEP USA Aligns with Sustainability Consortium

Military Produce Group Looks to Reusable Plastic Containers, CHEP USA Joins Sustainability Stewardship Group

Both IFCO Systems and CHEP USA were featured this week in announcements from the two Brambles businesses. Military Produce Group is demonstrating its environmental commitment through utilizing reusable plastic containers (RPCs) from IFCO SYSTEMS to ship fresh produce to dozens of commissaries. This group, responsible for supplying vegetables and fruit to commissaries in the southern U.S., is transitioning to RPCs from corrugated boxes for a number of products in a move aimed at furthering the Defense Commissary Agency’s (DeCA) sustainability program.

The initial introduction of RPCs will be enjoyed by about 32 DeCA locations which will be expanded to a total of 71. Distribution is facilitated from Military Produce Group distribution centers in Birmingham, AL , Norfolk, VA and Savannah, GA.

Bridget Bennett, Supervisory Category Manager (Produce) at DeCA says that the Defense Commissary Agency is committed to an environmentally sustainable operation. He applauds MPG’s use of reusable containers to reduce product damage as well as the amount of waste heading to landfills. The group works in conjunction with leading grower/shippers such as Bolthouse Farms, Seald Sweet, Tanimura & Antle, and Village Farms to ensure military families are delivered the best in freshness.

“The Military Produce Group works diligently to provide healthy food to the commissaries we serve and to do it in a way that keeps our carbon footprint to a minimum,” adds Al Oliver, Director of Sales and Marketing at Military Produce Group, noting that RPCs help the group be more sustainable while boosting operational efficiencies.

As leading provider of RPCs to the fresh food industry internationally, IFCO has 180 million RPCs in circulation. After being emptied, IFCO RPCs are folded, stacked and returned to anIFCO service center where they are sanitized and prepared for re-use.

IFCO’s Mike Ellis, Director of Supply Chain Development at IFCO, and fellow veteran Pam Cavallero worked to ensure a smooth rollout of MPG’s program to commissaries.

CHEP USA Joins The Sustainability Consortium

CHEP USA, continues its involvement with high level manufacturing and distribution initiatives, this time through joining The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) in the Packaging Sector Working Group, in addition to connecting to the transportation committee of the organization. That group, including other industry members, civil society, academic and government stakeholder experts represents $2.4 trillion in revenue in a collective initiative to improve product sustainability throughout the consumer goods supply chain.

An organization of diverse global participation, The Sustainability Consortium® (TSC®) members work collaboratively to create a scientific foundation that propels innovation and consumer product sustainability. TSC works to build transparent tools and strategies aimed at delivering a new generation of products and supply networks targeting environmental, social, and economic imperatives.

Vishal Patell, Vice President, Retail Supply Chain Solutions at CHEP USA. says that sustainability is one of CHEP’s shared values, and is reflected through CHEP’s reusable pallets and its pooling business model. “We are committed to using resources more efficiently, minimizing waste and encouraging the sustainable use of our products and services,” he adds. “The expertise and knowledge that can now be exchanged between CHEP and The Sustainability Consortium will advance the sustainability mission of both organizations while benefiting the supply chain.”

In addition to the Packaging Sector Working Group and transportation committee, TSC also has a logistics committee that works to identify key social and environmental issues associated with activities logistics systems across supply chains.

“Cross-industry collaboration is an essential component of TSC, and allows us to learn best practices in order to facilitate action on key environmental and social issues across the consumer goods industry,” comments Sarah Lewis, Director of Research and Integration at TSC.

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