Grimmway Farms, a carrot producer based in Bakersfield, Calif., tapped CHEP, Livonia, Mich., to improve its sustainable practices and increase operations efficiency.

Since partnering with CHEP, Grimmway Farms has realized the economic and environmental benefits of moving from white wood pallets to pooled pallets.

“Grimmway Farms is always looking for sustainable options that improve operations,” says Jason Higbee, director of materials management, Grimmway Farms. “CHEP understands the fresh produce industry and the need to keep our supply chain moving as efficiently as possible, so we can meet customer expectations while also cutting costs and carbon.”

Since 2009, Grimmway Farms shifted 2.9 million pallets to CHEP’s circular model, thus eliminating more than 1.63 million pounds of solid waste and reducing more than 1.23 million pounds of CO2e, the equivalent of eliminating 1.4 million miles driven by an average passenger vehicle in one year.

Building on that success, Grimmway Farms brought CHEP into its Cal-Organic Farms facilities to suggest process improvements for reducing pallet damage, cutting costs and further improving sustainability. The suggested changes, identified by the CHEP supply chain solutions team and tested at the CHEP innovation center, include adjustments in pallet handling and sorting. Reducing pallet damage and properly sorting pallets creates several sustainability benefits, including:

·         Reduction of natural resources (timber) needed in the first place.

·         Less wood waste going to the landfill, reducing costs and carbon.  

·         Fewer returned pallets, reducing the frequency of trips and related costs and carbon.

“CHEP created one of the world’s most sustainable logistics businesses through the share and re-use of our products,” says Laura Nador, president, CHEP North America. “Our work protects forests and reduces landfill. By collaborating with Grimmway Farms, we can do even more to solve shared challenges – from taking out transport miles to fighting food waste. There’s no end to what we can achieve together.”