An increasing number of growers are returning to crates from CHEP Australia to transport their produce for reasons of quality.
Given the significant investment made by fruit growers in their products, it is important for them to ensure that the fruit remains undamaged as it travels through the supply chain from the farm.
Citrus grower and market agent Chris Deveney from Favco says that his first choice for shipping oranges and mandarins through the supply chain is a CHEP crate. He explains that the crates look after the product better, adding that they travel better and get better airflow through the product, which maintains the cool chain better, resulting in better product quality.
A key advantage of CHEP crates over cardboard cartons is that there is no sag. Fruits get compressed if the cardboard gets wet for any reason or when cartons are put on trucks. The crates transport beautifully through the supply chain with no risk of damage to the fruit.
Favco is one of several growers that are going back to CHEP crates for oranges after a brief sojourn into cardboard cartons. However, Favco has continued to use these crates for transporting mandarins. Less robust than oranges, mandarins require a tightly controlled cool chain to maintain quality.
Mr Deveney added that Favco was one of the first farms to use crates when they were introduced in 2000, particularly for mandarins.
Favco has farms in Mundubbera and Mareeba in North Queensland and also sources citrus from no less than 150 growers across Australia including citrus from the Riverina (NSW), Riverland (SA) and the Mildura region (Vic). In addition to crates, Favco also uses CHEP bins for picking and CHEP pallets when transporting loads.