Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle  Watch Video

Efficiency in the supply chain is more important now than ever. A collective tightening of the belts among American consumers means growers and retailers are being challenged to find ways to ease price burdens on consumers — not an easy task. On top of that, increasing environmental concerns mean sustainability is top of mind for an increasing number of Americans, too. “Current market conditions are causing everyone to more closely examine their supply chain and seek ways in which they can extract additional value,” says Ian Neeland, whose Australia-based company, Trans.L Systems, helps growers and retailers implement reusable transport packaging (RTP) systems.

Trans.L Systems currently has operations in Australia, Asia, and most recently, the U.S. In his role as CEO, Neeland’s goal is to help supply chain owners convert from fiberboard/corrugate to returnable supply chains through the use of RTP. “I am convinced of the benefits of reusable plastic crates (RPCs) in improving product quality, reducing reverse logistics costs, and lowering environmental impact,” he says.

How It Works

As a supply chain logistics expert for packaging, Trans.L Systems objectively analyzes its customers’ supply chains to identify opportunities for achieving better returns, then designs a supply chain transformation based on the findings. “The adoption of reusable packaging throughout the fresh produce supply chain is considerably higher in Australia (60%) compared to the U.S. (12%),” says Neeland. But Trans.L’s recent opening of a U.S. office in San Francisco — close to key fresh produce regions in the state — means the company will now be able to bring the technology to North America.

“Our company has a strong track record in working with retailers to design returnable supply chains for their fresh food procurement programs. We also bring automation to assist the handling of reusable packaging in wash plants and the packing operations of grower shippers and food processors,” Neeland says. “This automation reduces the costs and improves the safety of reusable transport packaging. Until now, the automation piece has been lacking in the U.S. market.”

He adds that the supermarkets in Australia really have taken the lead. Chains like Coles, Woolworths, and Aldi, which together control 70% of fresh produce sales, all have embraced the benefits of RPCs.

Life Cycle Analysis

One of Trans.L Systems’ clients is leading Australian retailer Coles Supermarkets, which operates more than 700 stores with 450 fresh produce suppliers. In 2006, Neeland, as a produce executive for Coles, was responsible for implementing the company’s conversion to reusable transport packaging, during which a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) was performed. The project compared the environmental impact prior to and after conversion from fiberboard to RPCs. “The LCA proved that RPCs have 85% less impact on the environment,” says Neeland. He believes there’s a lot of potential for similar benefits — in efficiency and freshness — in the U.S., too.

“We can show that RTPs such as returnable plastic crates and larger returnable merchandise units are a cost effective way to ensure enhanced freshness and quality,” Neeland says. “They can also achieve significant green benefits, including reduced water use and fewer carbon emissions. Supermarkets, quick service restaurant chains, growers, and distributors big and small can achieve the same significant rewards when they integrate RTPs into the supply chain.”

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories
Citrus
July 22, 2017
Representative from Washington Proposes Amendment to H-2A Program
Move broadens use of H-2A to all of agriculture to include those with multiple crops and harvests. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
July 21, 2017
University of California Launches Website to Update Growers on Citrus Research
Easy-to-read format designed to give growers up-to-date information on huanglongbing and Asian citrus psyllid research. Read More
Hurricane Matthew satellite image as it brushed past Florida
Citrus
July 20, 2017
Atlantic Hurricane Forecast Taken Up a Notch
Current conditions in the tropics warrant marked revision in potential storm season scenarios. Read More
Sunset on Florida potato field day
Citrus
July 19, 2017
Researchers On a Mission to Find More Places for Growing Produce
Federal grant to aid exploration of food security solutions for the future. Read More
Citrus
July 19, 2017
Farm Labor Stories Making the News This Week
The agricultural labor shortage is strong enough that the consumer press is beginning to report on it regularly. Here are the stories making headlines this month. Read More
Sweet Corn
July 19, 2017
Variety Specs | Production Tips: Corn ‘Anthem XR’ from Rispens Seeds
Each month, American Vegetable Grower® will offer growing tips on specific varieties, supplied by the breeder or distributor. This month, we’re offering Read More
farm hacks collage
Citrus
July 19, 2017
Florida Grower Magazine is Seeking Your Farm Hacks
Life hacks are common in social media threads these days. They are those clever ideas or tricks aimed at making Read More
Organic
July 19, 2017
4 Challenges Large Operations Face in Organic Vegetable Production
Organic vegetable production in Monterey County has evolved over the past 25 years. It was once the domain of small- Read More
Farm Management
July 19, 2017
Tom Nunes, V: The Best Labor Solutions Are When Everyone Wins
Competition for skilled farm labor is fierce in the West. But Nunes Vegetables, Inc. believes when growers work together, they will attract more workers to their community. Read More
Fruits
July 14, 2017
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Predator Egg Mass Found
Samuri wasp parasitized egg mass found in Southern New Jersey peach orchard. Read More
Rain drops on leaf
Citrus
July 14, 2017
Everglades Agricultural Area Farmers Winning at Water Quality
Annual report shows use of best management practices results in another massive reduction in phosphorus flow. Read More
cut watermelon
Cucurbits
July 13, 2017
Scientists Keying in on Sweeter and Stronger Watermelon Varieties
New study shows grafting can give growers an upper hand on soilborne disease threats. Read More
Citrus
July 13, 2017
The Road is Long to Farm Bill 2018 [Opinion]
Participation in this process will be crucial to ensure your needs are understood and addressed. Read More
2015 FFVA Annual Convention crowd
Citrus
July 13, 2017
Trade Talk to Top Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association Convention Agenda
Trade issues are top of mind these days for specialty crop producers. Efforts have been underway since early this year Read More
Citrus
July 12, 2017
Shaky Florida Citrus Season Skids to a Stop
Final USDA tally confirms continuing downward trend of production in the HLB era. Read More
The Latest
Citrus
July 22, 2017
Representative from Washington Proposes …
Move broadens use of H-2A to all of agriculture to include those with multiple crops and harvests. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
July 21, 2017
University of California Launches Websit…
Easy-to-read format designed to give growers up-to-date information on huanglongbing and Asian citrus psyllid research. Read More
Citrus
July 20, 2017
Atlantic Hurricane Forecast Taken Up a N…
Current conditions in the tropics warrant marked revision in potential storm season scenarios. Read More
Citrus
July 19, 2017
Researchers On a Mission to Find More Pl…
Federal grant to aid exploration of food security solutions for the future. Read More
Citrus
July 19, 2017
Farm Labor Stories Making the News This …
The agricultural labor shortage is strong enough that the consumer press is beginning to report on it regularly. Here are the stories making headlines this month. Read More
Sweet Corn
July 19, 2017
Variety Specs | Production Tips: Corn &#…
Each month, American Vegetable Grower® will offer growing tips on specific varieties, supplied by the breeder or distributor. This month, we’re offering Read More
Citrus
July 19, 2017
Florida Grower Magazine is Seeking Your …
Life hacks are common in social media threads these days. They are those clever ideas or tricks aimed at making Read More
Organic
July 19, 2017
4 Challenges Large Operations Face in Or…
Organic vegetable production in Monterey County has evolved over the past 25 years. It was once the domain of small- Read More
Farm Management
July 19, 2017
Tom Nunes, V: The Best Labor Solutions A…
Competition for skilled farm labor is fierce in the West. But Nunes Vegetables, Inc. believes when growers work together, they will attract more workers to their community. Read More
Fruits
July 14, 2017
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Predator Egg …
Samuri wasp parasitized egg mass found in Southern New Jersey peach orchard. Read More
Citrus
July 14, 2017
Everglades Agricultural Area Farmers Win…
Annual report shows use of best management practices results in another massive reduction in phosphorus flow. Read More
Cucurbits
July 13, 2017
Scientists Keying in on Sweeter and Stro…
New study shows grafting can give growers an upper hand on soilborne disease threats. Read More
Citrus
July 13, 2017
The Road is Long to Farm Bill 2018 [Opin…
Participation in this process will be crucial to ensure your needs are understood and addressed. Read More
Citrus
July 13, 2017
Trade Talk to Top Florida Fruit & Ve…
Trade issues are top of mind these days for specialty crop producers. Efforts have been underway since early this year Read More
Citrus
July 12, 2017
Shaky Florida Citrus Season Skids to a S…
Final USDA tally confirms continuing downward trend of production in the HLB era. Read More
Citrus Achievement Award
July 12, 2017
Encourage New Citrus Growth by Getting B…
2017 Florida Grower Citrus Achievement Award winner Ed Pines says producing crops under protective screen is a way to farm more and stress less. Read More
Citrus
July 12, 2017
Tomato Pests Can Be Induced to Cannibali…
The University of Wisconsin's John Orrock says when beet armyworms are exposed to concentrations of methyl jasmonate, they will abandon eating tomatoes — and start eating one another. Read More
Citrus
July 12, 2017
USDA Pulls 8 Products from Approved Orga…
After a few months of speculation, the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service has published its Sunset 2017 final rule on approved products for organic production and handling. Read More