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Rousseau Farming Co. in Tolleson, AZ, one of the state's faster-growing produce companies, announced in late April that it has signed a new contract to ship its products on pallets from Chep, one of the world's leading pallet and container pooling companies.

Rousseau Farming is now transporting organic vegetables, broccoli, cilantro, kale, mixed greens, cabbage, carrots, dry onions and watermelon from its farms in Tolleson and Scottsdale, AZ, to supermarkets, distributors and wholesale clubs across the United States, Canada and Mexico on Chep pallets. The firm moved from limited-use whitewood pallets to the Chep pallet- pooling program to meet customer demands for a high-quality, reliable shipping platform.

The grower is seeing a series of financial benefits from the switch, including productivity improvements and a reduction in product damage. "Chep's pallets give our product a good ride from the fields to the receivers," Dale Nelson, general manager and chief financial officer of Rousseau Farming said in a late April press release. "Also, we've seen improvements in pallet administration, and the pricing is comparable to other alternatives."

Mr. Nelson added in the release that the Chep program is also more environmentally responsible, which is increasingly important to the company and its customers.

"Rousseau Farming represents a new breed of grower that is focused on delivering value to its customers through the commercial operation," Tim Smith, vice president at Chep, said in the release. "Chep is pleased to play a role in enhancing the companies' relationships with trading partners while increasing productivity through the supply chain."

Founded in 1985, Rousseau Farming is a privately held grower-shipper of vegetables and melons. The company, with headquarters and growing fields in Tolleson and additional farms in Scottsdale, employs a staff of approximately 500.