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CASTROVILLE, Calif. -- Ocean Mist Farms here, a leading grower of artichokes, is extending its contract for pallet pooling with pallet supplier CHEP for an additional three years.
Ocean Mist said it will continue to use CHEP pallets for all shipments from its facilities here and in Coachella, Cailf., and from third party facilities in Huron and Oxnard, Calif. and Yuma, Ariz., to major supermarket retailers, foodservice distributors and wholesalers in the United States and Canada.
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Ocean Mist has been shipping 100 percent of its product on CHEP pallets since 2001. Before CHEP, the produce company used self-built, one-way pallets, but determined the practice was too inefficient. The grower said several of customers had encouraged it to move to a CHEP program.
"We have seen significant cost reductions and improvements in pallet quality as a result of using the CHEP program," said Joe Pezzini, v.p of operations at Ocean Mist.
"We are making this commitment to CHEP because they have exceeded their commitment to us and to our customers," Pezzini added. While the CHEP program has provided Ocean Mist with many hard commercial benefits, the company also points to soft benefits, like environmental sustainability, as a key reason for the contract extension. "The fact that we're part of the vast CHEP pallet pool means that we're not adding to the waste stream and actually working to reduce overall timber use," he said.
"Ocean Mist Farms is one of several leading produce growers that are seeing a positive impact on the bottom line and doing the right thing for the environment by using the CHEP program," said Tim Smith, v.p., new business development, CHEP USA.