Tanimura & Antle, an employee-owned fresh produce farm based in Salinas, California, is one of the largest independent lettuce growers in the United States. The company farms more than 30,000 conventional and organic acres, shipping fresh produce throughout North America, Europe and Asia.
As a company “dedicated to ensuring long-term sustainability for our planet for the next generation,” Tanimura & Antle focuses on sustainable practices in everything from production to distribution of its produce. Every aspect of the business is considered – even storage.
The comprehensive scope of the program sparked discussions between Tanimura & Antle, CHEP and IFCO. The companies strategized on ways to use storage and inventory management to improve sustainability, increase efficiency and optimize shipping and handling during peak harvest seasons.
Given the challenge of forecasting the weather and exact harvest dates, CHEP and IFCO looked for ways to ensure Tanimura & Antle could be prepared whenever its produce was ready for harvest. The creative solution, like the issue it addresses, is multi-dimensional.
As a first step, CHEP stores hundreds of thousands of pallets at Tanimura & Antle’s locations in Yuma, Arizona and Spreckels, California, prior to harvest time. Along with ensuring availability at critical harvest times, the pallet storage solution also generates transportation efficiencies that reduce carbon emissions and environmental impact.
In addition, IFCO provides Tanimura & Antle with Reusable Plastic Containers (RPCs) for packaging, transporting, storing and displaying its fresh produce. IFCO also uses crop forecasting, acreage yield data and harvest transition plans to provide Tanimura & Antle with RPC Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) services that ensure IFCO RPCs are on-hand and readily available throughout the year.
“We have built a strong reputation for providing our customers with premium fresh produce every single day,” says Eric Wexler, Vice President, Supply Chain Management, Tanimura & Antle. “We are committed to doing business in a responsible way that protects and preserves our natural resources. CHEP and IFCO are innovative and collaborative partners that help us deliver on our sustainability commitments.”
The impact of the partnership is tangible: Since 2000, CHEP and IFCO pallet storage and inventory management solutions for Tanimura & Antle have eliminated the amount of waste produced by more than 3,000 homes annually, eliminated more than 5 million pounds of carbon emissions, the equivalent of removing 5.3 million cars from the roads, saved nearly 92 million gallons of water, eliminated over 4 million pounds of food waste and saved enough energy to power over 32,000 homes for one year.