Almondco switches to CHEP

Almond producer Almondco replaces its wooden bins with CHEP’s plastic PB7 product, opts for a pooled solution in a seven-year agreement

Almondco switches to CHEP
Almondco switches to CHEP

April 18, 2011

Almond producer Almondco has replaced its wooden bins with CHEP’s plastic PB7 product and opted for a pooled solution in a seven-year agreement with the logistics provider.

Almondco is a 100 per cent Australian-owned almond based food business that processes, packs, value adds and markets almond products on behalf of more than 80 per cent of Australia’s almond growers.

Responsible for processing almost 40 per cent of Australia’s almond crop, the company is experiencing unprecedented expansion.

Given its reputation for producing premium quality almonds, Almondco sets rigorous quality standards within its supply chain.

Historically, Almondco purchased wooden bins to store and handle almonds.

However with supply expected to triple within three years, a key element of Almondco’s growth strategy is to maintain product quality and improve supply chain efficiency.

To meet this objective, Almondco decided to switch to plastic bins that are better suited to its processes.

But the company had another problem. Increasing bin stock to meet growth expectations would have required ongoing investment.

CHEP’s pooled model, where CHEP supplies, manages and returns bins into the Almondco supply chain, eliminated this issue, meeting the organisation’s needs for rapid increase in bin supply without the capital outlay.

Almondco Group General Manager Brenton Woolston says the switch from wooden to plastic bins was necessary to reduce the likelihood of product contamination.

"Product integrity throughout our supply chain is crucial to our ability to provide premium products to our customers," Woolston says.

"CHEP’s PB7 holds its shape well for improved stacking, is easy to clean and impervious to moisture.

"The plastic bin enhances hygiene standards due to the reduced exposure to bacteria and fungal growth.

The durability of plastic bins was important, but the scalability inherent in CHEP’s pooling model was a very important benefit.

CHEP’s rigorous conditioning and repair processes ensure Almondco can be confident it will receive a quality bin that has been thoroughly washed and is free of broken plastic that might damage produce.

The absence of nails, broken boards and splinters creates an improved OH&S environment and its lightweight design makes the bin easier to handle and lowers transport costs compared to wooden bins.

Woolston says CHEP’s reputation for being able to supply large volumes of bins in a timely and cost-effective manner is a major selling point for Almondco.

The logistics services provider is now valued as a trusted business partner.

"Based on current plantings, we expect to triple product output over the next few years," Woolston says.

"Finding service providers that can expand with us is paramount in ensuring consistency and efficiency as our business grows.

"Making the transition from wooden to plastic bins was a big step. Almondco is currently constructing a new 4600 square metre raw material warehouse to cater for the increased volume in future seasons.

This major building project is scheduled for completion in June 2011.

"That CHEP has been able to meet our increasing demand with ease, speed and efficiency is a major consideration in the making of this contract," he says.

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