IFCO claims that its RPCs require less energy and water during manufacture and produce less solid waste and emit less CO2 compared to single-use packaging
Mexico-based Agros Produce has partnered with IFCO Systems, a provider of packaging for fresh food, to use the latter’s reusable plastic containers (RPCs) for packaging and transporting its tomatoes to retailers in the US and Canada.
IFCO claims that its RPCs require less energy and water during manufacture and produce less solid waste and emit less CO2 compared to single-use packaging.
It also stated that RPCs are easier to handle, keep produce fresh for a longer time, and are capable of protecting produce better than one-way packaging.
The packages can be cleaned, washed, sanitised and wrapped after each use, and can be used up to 100 times before they are sent for recycling.
IFCO North America president Dan Martin said: “We are proud to partner with Agros Produce to ensure its nutritious, fresh and delicious tomatoes successfully reach its retail grocery customers and ultimately the kitchens and tables of consumers across North America in the most safe and sustainable way.
“Our companies share the goal of a sustainable fresh food supply chain that nourishes and sustains millions of consumers around the globe.”
Agros Produce uses more than 400,000 IFCO RPCs every year, to pack and ship various types of its greenhouse tomatoes, including Beefstake tomatoes, Tomatoes on the Vine, Roma Tomatoes and Grape Tomatoes, to grocery retailers across the US and Canada.
It ships conventional and USDA-certified organic tomato products directly to its customers in North America, and through distribution warehouses in Arizona and Texas.
Agros Produce CEO Montserrat Duarte said: “IFCO RPCs have helped us in different ways, reducing labour costs, increasing efficiency, providing better protection for the fruit, and reducing claims from shifted and/or collapsed cases when compared to the use of cardboard boxes.
“Logistically, RPCs have helped us optimise the capacity of our shipments, reducing freight costs.
“In addition, the diversity of IFCO RPC sizes provides us with the versatility we need for packing our wide variety of tomato products, as well as develop new products for our customers. And when we use RPCs, we are able to meet and contribute to our sustainability goals.
In June 2019, Brambles has closed the sale of IFCO reusable plastic containers (RPC) business to Triton and Luxinva, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, for $2.51bn.