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Fisher Ranch Corp. a leading grower-packer-shipper of melons, lettuce and broccoli, has extended its contract with CHEP, a leading pallet and container pooling company.

Fisher Ranch, which is based in Blythe, CA, is now transporting "Kingfisher" and “Fisher” brand cantaloupes, honeydew melons, lettuce and broccoli from its facilities in California and Arizona to supermarkets, club stores and foodservice distributors throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico on CHEP pallets.

Fisher Ranch moved to the CHEP pallet-pooling program in 2004 from limited-use, unpooled pallets, known as white wood. The produce marketer said that it has experienced improvements in shipping platform quality and consistency as a result. It is also realizing a series of financial benefits from the switch, including productivity improvements and a reduction in product damage.

“We view the CHEP relationship as a real partnership that benefits the entire produce supply chain,” Bart Fisher, president of Fisher Ranch, said in an Oct. 5 press release. “CHEP's service team helps us improve the way our products are handled beyond just pallets by driving efficiencies in our fields and packinghouses and in our customers’ distribution centers.”

Mr. Fisher said that the CHEP program is also more environmentally sustainable than the alternatives, which is increasingly important to Fisher Ranch and its customers.

Based on third-party lifecycle inventory analysis findings, the use of the CHEP pooling system as opposed to white wood pallets has enabled Fisher Ranch on an annual basis to reduce solid waste generation by more than 100,000 pounds, decrease greenhouse gas emissions by about 75,000 pounds and save enough energy to power 55 homes with electricity.

Karen Hempel, senior vice president of sales and marketing for CHEP USA, added in the press release, “Fisher Ranch’s continued support of the CHEP pallet pool shows the strength of our value proposition for produce companies around the world along with the industry’s increased demand for green shipping solutions.”