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ORLANDO, FL -- CHEP announced Dec. 22 the signing of a multi-year contract with Del Monte Fresh Produce Co., a subsidiary of Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., for pallet pooling services in support of the company's banana and melon divisions.

Del Monte Fresh uses CHEP pallets to transport "Del Monte" brand bananas and melons from the company's facilities in Puerto Lim?n, Costa Rica, and Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, to supermarkets, mass market retailers, club stores, wholesalers and foodservice distributors across the United States and Canada, according to CHEP, a global leader in pallet and container pooling services. "Del Monte Fresh Produce views the relationship with CHEP as an integral part of the strategic relationship we have with our customers, which are receiving a series of benefits from the pallet pooling system, Paul Rice, senior vice president of North America operations for Del Monte Fresh, said in a Dec. 22 press release. We look forward to building on the supply-chain performance and environmental sustainability successes we've had to date."

Based on third-party Life-Cycle Inventory Analysis findings, through its use of the CHEP pooling system as opposed to limited-use whitewood pallets, Del Monte Fresh Produce is reducing solid waste generation by more than 8.3 million pounds each year, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by 58 percent and saving enough energy to power nearly 700 homes with electricity, according to the release. "CHEP is committed to helping Del Monte Fresh Produce decrease its environmental footprint while simultaneously improving the efficiencies of its internal and external supply chains. We value the partnership between the two companies and look forward to providing Del Monte with great shipping platforms and excellent customer service for years to come," Tim Smith, vice president of business development at CHEP USA, said in the release.