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Mount Vernon, IL-based Frey Farms Produce, one of the larger U.S. grower- packer-shippers of pumpkins, announced Oct. 18 that it has renewed its partnership with CHEP, a leading pallet and container pooling company.

Frey Farms Produce is now transporting its branded pumpkins, watermelons and cantaloupes from its facilities in Florida, Texas, Georgia, Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Colorado and Michigan to supermarkets, wholesalers, clubstores, fresh processors and foodservice operators in the United States and Canada on CHEP pallets.

Frey Farms Produce moved from limited-use, non-pooled pallets, known as "white wood," to the CHEP pallet pooling program primarily to address cost issues. The fresh produce company also wanted to meet customer demands for a high-quality, reliable shipping platform.

Sarah Talley, chief executive officer of Frey Farms Produce, said in an Oct. 18 press release, “CHEP provides several major benefits, including a cost- effective, heavy-duty, quality pallet. CHEP pallets are very solid, which minimizes in-transit shipping problems and promotes safety in handling. Additionally, being reusable, CHEP enhances sustainability and promotes green initiatives. Using CHEP is a win-win.”

Ms. Talley said that the CHEP program is more environmentally sustainable than the alternatives. Based on third-party life-cycle inventory analysis findings, through its use of the CHEP pooling system as opposed to limited- use white wood pallets, each year Frey Farms Produce is reducing solid waste generation by almost 100,000 pounds, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 76,000 pounds and saving enough energy to power 55 homes with electricity.

Karen Hempel, CHEP USA's senior vice president of sales and marketing, said in the release, “Frey Farms Produce is an excellent example of a company that has grown rapidly because of its ability to meet its customers’ demands efficiently. CHEP is proud to be playing a role in the streamlining of Frey Farms Produce’s supply chain. Our team is dedicated to working continuously to improve productivity and customer service.”