Australian Garlic has seen its harvest increase several-fold over the past three years. Supporting this growth is a decade long relationship with CHEP , providing plastic bins to transport and store raw and cured garlic.
After acquiring the Australian rights to a unique strain of virus free garlic in 1997, Australian Garlic Producers (AGP) was going places and needed a packaging and logistics partner to help them get there.
Taking a ground-breaking step away from traditional wooden packaging, AGP chose CHEP’s reusable plastic bins (PB7s) to transport and store its fresh and cured garlic.
A decade on, the partnership is stronger than ever, with CHEP’s returnable, reusable plastic bins supporting AGP through its increase in business in recent years.
AGP’s crop is grown on 200 hectares of land over three locations in Victoria and Tasmania. The distance between the sites and the central factory near Mildura creates a significant freight task, moving bins from farm gate, to the factory for curing and then distributed nationally.
AGP’s National Operations Manager, Peter Hahn, said the decision to go with CHEP’s plastic bin had proven itself to be reliable time and time again as CHEP continued to add value to the organisation’s freight and storage operations.
“Our supply chain has an extremely large freight component and CHEP’s plastic bins withstand the rigors of the long trip exceedingly well. The bins are easy to handle, efficient to transport, product damage is minimised and there are no splinters, which is great for staff unloading bins.”
The bins are used to help keep the garlic fresh and ventilated during the curing. “We typically store garlic for 30-40 days during the curing process. The bins are well ventilated so the garlic doesn’t spoil with mould.”
Peter Hahn said the flexibility of CHEP’s managed, returnable, reusable packaging solution was perfectly suited to AGP’s crop cycles and distribution needs. “Because garlic is grown underground, we can only make predictions about the size of a harvest – we don’t know for sure how much we have until we get it above ground,” he said.
“CHEP has the capacity to supply additional bins on demand. If we need more, we get more, if we have too many, we send some back. While we can make some assumptions about crop volumes, it’s good to know we’ve got that flexibility.”
CHEP’s extensive service centre network also enables efficiencies in AGP’s supply chain, as producers can easily access plastic bins from nearby CHEP service centres. Additionally, CHEP helped Australian Garlic establish a mini service centre on the factory site at Mildura to facilitate 24 hour operations.
CHEP Product Specialist, Adrian Walsh has been involved with the account since day one. “We had this fantastic bin – returnable, reusable, recyclable plastic packaging – AGP took what was a ground-breaking step to use the plastic bins rather than the wooden bins normally used at the time.”
Adrian Walsh says, “Garlic produced in Australia is considered amongst the safest in the world due to the strict food safety conditions under which it is produced. CHEP is proud to have played a role in supporting the growth of quality Australian garlic.”
AGP’s National Operations Manager, Peter Hahn says “Australian Garlic has exceeded all growth expectations. We set a stretch target of 100 tonnes, expecting to reach that in 3 years, but achieved it in 2 years. Five years on we’re producing several times that amount; crop expectations can now exceed 1000 tonnes.
CHEP has supported our growth throughout and after a decade, the relationship is as strong as ever.”
“Outsourcing the management of our packaging requirements to CHEP has given us incredible flexibility, particularly as we can never be certain of our crop yields. CHEP makes sure we’ve got the right amount of bins in the right location, at the right time –every time. And with a mini-warehouse on site, we can pack 24 hours a day.”