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
Vegetables
January 23, 2017
The Northwest Has the Most Growers Under 55 Years Old
Survey respondents in the Northwest are more likely to grow organically, avoid genetically modified crops [GMOs], and more likely to Read More
Insect & Disease Update
January 23, 2017
California Lands $5 Million for Citrus Greening Research
The USDA grant will be used to create and identify possible solutions for a cure. Read More
Postbloom Fruit Drop symptoms on Florida ctirus
Insect & Disease Update
January 23, 2017
Florida Citrus Growers on Alert for Postbloom Fruit Drop
After the worst outbreak in years, growers should be wary of this disorder. Read More
More Vegetables
January 23, 2017
California Garlic Grower to Raise Minimum Wage by 30% by Next Year
Christopher Ranch commits to $15 per hour minimum wages for all employees by 2018. Read More
a trio of peaches
Fruits
January 20, 2017
Insecticide Label Expanded to Many Specialty Crops
Sivanto Prime from Bayer can now be used in foliar form on stone fruit and caneberries, and for soil use on leafy and brassica vegetables. Read More
Cucurbits
January 20, 2017
Renowned Researcher Margaret McGrath Receives Cornell’s Excellence in IPM Award 
A plant pathologist, McGrath’s expertise has helped both organic and conventional growers fight late blight, downy mildew, and others.  Read More
Grapes
January 20, 2017
Live Reports on the State of the Wine Industry
The Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, by far the nation’s largest winegrape conference, is happening this week in Sacramento, CA. Read More
Jones Potato Farm field in Parrish, FL
Citrus
January 20, 2017
Farming Will Always Have a Place in Florida [Opinion]
Growers are resilient and agriculture will survive in our state and elsewhere. It has to, if we want food on our plates. Read More
Stemphylium leaf spot of spinach
Disease Control
January 20, 2017
Don’t Let Stemphylium Leaf Spot Stump Your Spinach Crop
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this vegetable disease. Read More
The Latest
Vegetables
January 23, 2017
The Northwest Has the Most Growers Under…
Survey respondents in the Northwest are more likely to grow organically, avoid genetically modified crops [GMOs], and more likely to Read More
Insect & Disease Update
January 23, 2017
California Lands $5 Million for Citrus G…
The USDA grant will be used to create and identify possible solutions for a cure. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
January 23, 2017
Florida Citrus Growers on Alert for Post…
After the worst outbreak in years, growers should be wary of this disorder. Read More
More Vegetables
January 23, 2017
California Garlic Grower to Raise Minimu…
Christopher Ranch commits to $15 per hour minimum wages for all employees by 2018. Read More
Fruits
January 20, 2017
Insecticide Label Expanded to Many Speci…
Sivanto Prime from Bayer can now be used in foliar form on stone fruit and caneberries, and for soil use on leafy and brassica vegetables. Read More
Cucurbits
January 20, 2017
Renowned Researcher Margaret McGrath Rec…
A plant pathologist, McGrath’s expertise has helped both organic and conventional growers fight late blight, downy mildew, and others.  Read More
Grapes
January 20, 2017
Live Reports on the State of the Wine In…
The Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, by far the nation’s largest winegrape conference, is happening this week in Sacramento, CA. Read More
Farm Marketing
January 20, 2017
Direct Marketing Revenue Topped $8 Billi…
USDA has released its first-ever survey on direct marketing, and it shows that the local food industry is huge. Read More
Citrus
January 20, 2017
Farming Will Always Have a Place in Flor…
Growers are resilient and agriculture will survive in our state and elsewhere. It has to, if we want food on our plates. Read More
Disease Control
January 20, 2017
Don’t Let Stemphylium Leaf Spot St…
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this vegetable disease. Read More
Disease Control
January 19, 2017
Clues Found to Block Late Blight’s…
With food security at stake, breakthrough in genetic research could help prevent more strains of the deadly pathogen from entering the U.S. Read More
Grapes
January 19, 2017
U.S. Challenges Canadian Trade Measures …
Trade enforcement action challenges British Columbia regulations that unfairly exclude U.S. wine from grocery store shelves. Read More
Citrus
January 19, 2017
Trump Taps Sonny Perdue for Secretary of…
Ag leaders applaud pick to head up USDA. Read More
Citrus
January 19, 2017
New York Representatives Introduce Bill …
Legislators say the move aligns the program in the department to better fit the needs of agriculture businesses. Read More
Citrus
January 19, 2017
New Technology Could Take Weather Intel …
Scientists aiming to make difficult climate-based production decisions easier for growers. Read More
Fruits
January 19, 2017
Funding Available to Improve Ag, Food Sc…
USDA announces $18.9 million for ag education at 1890s land-grant colleges and universities. Read More
Citrus
January 18, 2017
NASA, NOAA Concur 2016 Was World’s Warme…
For the third time in three years, the heat gets turned up on surface temperature statistics. Read More
Vegetables
January 18, 2017
Southwest Growers Are Best Prepared for …
Almost half of all Southwest operations are grooming its next generation of leadership — an alarmingly low statistic, but one that is the highest in the country, according to American Vegetable Grower magazine's 2017 State of the Vegetable Industry survey. Read More