La Palette Rouge speeds up fresh produce expansion

 LPR-La Palette Rouge, the pallet-pooling specialist, will roll out additional services for the fruit and vegetable sector in 2013.

LPR is mounting a sustained attack on the fresh produce market, with the introduction of additional services to meet the growing demands of the sector. Over the past 12 months, the Number 2 European pallet-pooling specialist has signed several contracts with major players in the fruit & veg. sector distributing to supermarkets, including UNIVEGKATOPÉ FRANCE, the European leader (see below). There has been significant growth in LPR’s fresh produce activity in France, as well as across the brand’s traditional European base in Spain, Portugal, Benelux and the United Kingdom. Hervé Fourcade, LPR’s Commercial Manager, explains that this is driven “by strong demand from players in the market for pallet quality and innovative services. ”

LPR is highly regarded for the quality of its handling solutions and offers players in the sector a special range of food-grade pallets. “This system eliminates the risk of merchandise being affected by the pallets themselves, ” adds Hervé Fourcade. The pallets are collected, sorted and repaired (if necessary) after each trip to ensure the quality and sustainability of the operation is maintained to customer standards.

Supermarket chains in France and Europe show their confidence in LPR

Reusable pallets are seen favourably among food distributors and the sector is increasingly choosing these over single-use or exchangeable pallets – “even in good condition” – for their distribution hubs, because of the advantages in terms both of safety and productivity. As the process becomes increasingly automated, the major food distribution chains are looking for high quality pallets in formats to suit their systems. LPR pallets therefore provide the perfect answer, and this only strengthens the ties the Group has long had with the consumer foods sector: “Our pallets are recognized and accepted by the leading distributors in France and in Europe generally. ” This is a real advantage for producers and importers operating in several European markets.

 Developing synergy

In addition, LPR can count on a vast network spanning much of Europe. With its 80 local depots, the Group picks up pallets in 12 countries*, while Euro Pool System (EPS) Group, which acquired LPR last year, expands the network even further. LPR plans to develop greater synergy with its parent company to become even more competitive. A pilot project is underway in Belgium: EPS boxes and red pallets are loaded and shipped together, thus reducing the use cost of each pallet. Other sites are scheduled to adopt the system in the coming months.

Strong potential

On the strength of its popularity with customers for the simplicity and transparency of its services and billing system, LPR is planning for a significant increase in the proportion of its business connected with fruit and vegetables. It expects to see considerable growth in terms of volume.



UNIVEG KATOPÉ FRANCE has decided to completely overhaul its pallet supply arrangements. The European leader for fruit and vegetables has now chosen to work with La Palette Rouge. It ships between 1200 and 2000 pallets a week from Avignon and its new site at Rungis to the distribution hubs of the major retail chains. Rungis alone will soon be shipping 90,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables a year on LPR’s distinctive red pallets. 

Christophe DELACOUR, Logistics Manager France for UNIVEG KATOPÉ, explains why they chose LPR: “Volumes can vary considerably from day to day and orders have to be prepared very rapidly, within a timeframe of less than five hours. With LPR, we have set up a routine of regular supplies, based on our average volumes. The number of pallets actually delivered is then adjusted to meet our real needs, so that we always have the pallets available as required.” This flexibility will be particularly beneficial over the Christmas and New Year period, when there is a significant increase in the consumption of exotic products such as lychees. For Christophe DELACOUR, the quality of LPR’s pallets and the simplicity of its services, especially the way orders can be placed over the Internet, were decisive factors. Ultimately, however, it comes down to the personal touch: “It’s great that we always have the same contacts who understand our needs and are familiar with our activities. This is an important consideration for us.”

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