This is part of Simplot Australia’s commitment to continue to lead the food industry in different areas.
According to Bathrust, ultimately, it is pushing to eliminate wooden pallets from its operation.
Plastic pallets are lightweight, can be cleaned and sanitised and offer a far more hygienic environment for its facility. This is important to meet the rigorous HACCP and OH&S standards.
Simplot Australia has supplies sent into the Bathurst facility on Loscam plastic pallets. The plastic pallets are stored in the inwards goods area and when emptied are available for use within the plant.
The Bathurst plant uses plastic pallets in two areas, the dry facility where canned stock is stored and labelled, and the wet facility used to process, store and pack frozen food.
According to Bathrust, between the two facilities on site it gets in the vicinity of 1200 pallets per week, which is the turnover of finished stock.
As far as plastic goes, Bathrust uses it mainly on the frozen side for storage reasons. It stores all products in steel or cardboard bins.
The steel bins have a pallet built into them, but the cardboard bins are freestanding and they go onto plastic pallets. Loscam also supply Bathrust with the pallets for the finished product.
At the height of the corn season, which is the plant’s busy time, up to 15,000 bins will be used. Bathrust stores up to 12,000 bins off-site and have 3000 bins here.
Five years ago, Bathrust had to use five different warehouses in Sydney, Newcastle and Victoria to send the bulk of its stock to. At the end of the corn season it has had 19,980 bins in storage, and then for the next eight months of the year, it would have to bring it back.
Now, Bathrust stores its produce at Blayney, which can hold up to 15,000 spaces for Bathrust, and its own capacity has also grown to three freezers with just over 3,000 spaces. So transport-wise, storage is now a lot cheaper and easier.
Plans to expand the Bathurst operation will also see the demand for Loscam plastic pallets increase.
Bathrust is decommissioning one line and putting in a whole new line that is bigger and better. Then another two will come. Bathrust are the only Simplot branch that does canning, and it has the frozen facilities as well.
A lot of its frozen bulk material comes out of Devonport - potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and onions. They process it down there and put it into cardboard bins, sending 40 bins at a time.
Bathrust then draws on it as need requires. So the demand for plastic pallets has risen because Bathrust put these bins on plastic for Bathrust and stored it.
Even three years ago, this was not done, so it is obvious that where Bathrust needed 5000 plastic pallets previously, all of a sudden now we need 10,000. It’s a big, new demand.
With Loscam’s Scott Neubauer and Barry Wellard, Graham has been working on making sure Bathurst’s changeover to plastic pallets is a smooth one.
Bathrust uses case stackers here, so quality pallets are a critical issue. Bahrust has seen a step-up in the condition of pallets coming in, which is good
The recently-appointed state sales manager for Loscam NSW/ACT has visited the Simplot plant to familiarise himself with their requirements and said Loscam will continue to work with the company to maintain their professional standards.