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THE CO-OPERATIVE GROUP SIGNS WITH IFCO

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IFCO is pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached with the UK's largest mutual business and fifth largest food retailer.

London/Pullach, April 3 2014 - IFCO is pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached with the UK's largest mutual business and fifth largest food retailer, The Co-operative Group, to provide managed Returnable Plastic Container (RPC) services for fresh produce suppliers. Later this year, IFCO will start to supply RPCs to suppliers delivering fresh produce to The Co-operative Group stores in support of the group's 'True North' strategy to become the leading convenience retailer in the UK. 

Paul Bennell, The Co-operative Group’s Head of Primary Logistics, said: “The switch from company-owned nestable crates for fresh produce suppliers to IFCO’s managed, foldable crate solution was made in support of our strategy to focus on customers, provide simpler processes for stores and streamline end to end logistics.”

The utilisation of IFCO’s Green Plus RPCs will enable The Co-operative Group and its fresh produce suppliers to alleviate the issues faced on inbound products arriving in cardboard boxes, including collapse due to moisture and other box damage, inefficiency due to lack of standardization in box sizes and food waste of up to 2%.

The Co-operative Group's movement away from operating its own pool of crates for fresh produce to IFCO's pooled, third-party managed model reflects a growing trend throughout Europe and especially within the UK. IFCO's Vice President of North & Central Europe, Michael Meierhoefer, said: “Grocery retailers, such as The Co-operative Group, who outsource their reusable crate management to IFCO are able to focus on their core business of retail instead of crate logistics. IFCO is seeing more and more retailers move in this direction as they seek greater supply chain efficiency and lower costs."

The Co-operative Group’s movement away from operating its own pool of crates for fresh produce to IFCO’s pooled, third-party managed model reflects a growing trend throughout Europe and especially within the UK. IFCO’s Vice President of North & Central Europe, Michael Meierhoefer, said: “Grocery retailers, such as The Co-operative Group, who outsource their reusable crate management to IFCO are able to focus on their core business of retail instead of crate logistics. IFCO is seeing more and more retailers move in this direction as they seek greater supply chain efficiency and lower costs.”

A third-party managed RPC pool also enables a more reliable supply of containers, as containers are staged for use where they are needed as seasons change and supply regions shift. IFCO’s UK Managing Director, Chris Taylor, said: “IFCO’s large pool of Green Plus crates helps ensure availability for The Co-operative Group’s suppliers during seasonal peaks. In addition, our expansive portfolio of crate sizes allows us to meet the needs of all of The Cooperative Groups’ store formats and sizes. Suppliers are able to choose the correct tray size for their products to minimize the transport of fresh air, remove cost and improve efficiency.”
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