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Strawberry fields forever

28 May 2020

Specialist grower New Forest Fruit got ready for British strawberry picking season with the delivery of 1,200 plastic pallets from Goplasticpallets.com.

A modern fruit farm on a grand scale, New Forest Fruit employs some 400 highly motivated staff who grow, pick and pack the fruit by hand before it is distributed to the UK’s leading supermarkets.

Until recently the company had been using wooden pallets for picking and distribution, but the regular breakages and desire for a better ventilated storage platform lead him to contact plastic pallet experts Goplasticpallets.com.

After discussing in detail how the pallets would be used, Goplasticpallets.com recommended its SF 1210 M5R medium duty plastic pallet on five runners. Not only does this pallet have a well ventilated top deck, it also comes with the option of a 22mm lip, which was recommended to keep the plastic picking trays securely in place.

The company said: “In the fields our staff pick the strawberries into plastic trays, which are fully ventilated to allow good air flow. The trays are then loaded onto the plastic pallets ready for processing. For preservation, the pallets go through an 80-metre blast chill process, where cool air is blasted through them; this is where the ventilated pallet deck is ideal, as it ensures that the cool air reaches the fruit much quicker.

“This process used to take 1 hour 15 minutes when we were using black plastic trays on wooden pallets, but now we’ve switched to white trays on plastic pallets, it takes a mere 45 minutes!”

“Another benefit we’ve found using the plastic pallets is that they’re much lighter for staff to handle (weighing just 14kg each), when carrying them to the field.”

Environmental commitment

New Forest Fruit is extremely proud of its place within the New Forest National Park and has put a number of measures in place to both complement the diverse range of flora and fauna, like installing bee hotels and bird boxes, and preserve the environment.

Now with its new plastic pallets, New Forest Fruit has taken its environmental commitment one step further by signing up to Goplasticpallets.com’s plastic pallet recycling scheme. This scheme was launched by the company to offer customers reassurance that their plastic pallets would be collected and sustainably recycled at the end of their long use – not just a commitment but their word.

 
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