Tony Recupero, Director of Valle Verde Orchard, has been with the business since the age of 16. Nowadays he ensures their fresh produce is harvested, packed, and transported to supermarkets and fresh food outlets efficiently and safely.
As a CHEP customer for over 20 years, when Valle Verde Orchards started growing watermelons, they decided to use CHEP Foldable Bins (FB) for ease of use for picking the fruit and transportation. They also used the FBs for other produce such as vegetables, transporting directly to supermarket distribution centres.
CHEP’s Foldable Bins (FBs) can be used to move a range of perishable goods – including fruits and vegetables through the supply chain from the grower and distributor through to retail display. The Foldable Bin range has three different bin types, including a bin with a fold down half gate and a half bin. They are efficient and safe to use for handling fresh produce, and provide a durable, environmentally friendly alternative to using single-use cardboard. “We prefer foldable bins because it's more cost effective to us in respects to handling, hygiene, and assembly”, said Tony.
Picking fruit and vegetables is hands on for the experienced farmer. Tony’s team of harvest workers, forklift drivers, and tractor drivers work each day to check the fruit and vegetables. Once the produce is mature it is put on a conveyor which goes straight into CHEP Foldable Bins. When the bin is full, a tractor picks it up and puts in on a truck taking it back to the packing shed where the produce is unloaded, weighed to supermarket specifications, quality assured, labelled, loaded on a truck, and delivered to supermarket distribution centres.
CHEP platforms help Valle Verde Orchard realise efficiencies and spend more time doing other things in the business. “By having foldable bins it's really convenient for us; two blokes in ten seconds can erect the bin in the field and we can start picking straight away. So, there'll be less handling and fresher product for consumers." Tony said.
CHEP Foldable Bins are easy to clean and impervious to moisture for higher hygiene standards. Tony adds, “I'm HARPS (Harmonised Australian Retailer Produce Scheme) accredited, so I know that every bin I pick up from CHEP is clean and safe, which means every product that goes into them will also be clean and safe."
Bins are available from CHEP service centres conveniently located within most major growing regions, manufacturing precincts and major retailers across Australia, which offer flexibility to manage inventory to meet demand. Tony added, “After I do a delivery to the supermarkets, it's very convenient for me to pick up more equipment because the CHEP service centres are very close to the delivery point."
Bins improve storage efficiency and optimise logistics loads, as they are easily stackable when loaded or folded. Tony said, “When I go to a CHEP service centre, I can load more on my truck up with over 120 CHEP foldable bins, compared with 40 normal bins which would need three separate trips.
Out in the field, Valle Verde Orchard can load a trailer with up to 15 Foldable Bins, compared to 8 fixed-wall bins. This means they can take out more bins, pick more fruit and vegetables, and ultimately save more time, instead of returning more frequently to pick up more fixed wall bins during production.
Assembling bins is fast and easy, reduces labour costs, as well as eliminating handling inefficiencies and time on the farm. “When assembling the bins, it's really easy as it just takes two people ten seconds. It saves a lot of time, which is very valuable to us and results in saving a lot of money. If on the farm you save time, you save money and one of the best things about foldable bins is time savings.”
CHEP’s online customer portal, myCHEP, helps Valle Verde Orchard to simplify their administrative tasks associated with sharing and reusing bins. It is easy to use and allows Valle Verde Orchard with the ability to access and manage their accounts on any device anywhere anytime. Tony added, “When we deliver to the supermarkets, we use myCHEP for the transfers, so by simplifying issues and returns in just a few clicks we are only charged for the bins we use."
Watch the Valle Verde Orchard video here
What CHEP customers achieve each year through the sharing and reuse of CHEP platforms:
- 3.2 million trees are left on the planet.
- 2.4 million tonnes of C02 never enter the atmosphere.
- 3,160 megalitres of water remains in our waterways.
- 1.4 million tonnes of trash never make it to landfills.
Source: Brambles Sustainability Review 2021