The national company Mercasa recently asked AECOC (an association that groups together manufacturers and distributors from several sectors) to carry out a study to assess the viability of implementing a reusable container pool for the fruit and vegetable sector in Spain’s different wholesale markets. The results of the study were presented to Mercabarna management and to the representatives of the Fruit and Vegetable Wholesalers’ Guild of Barcelona and Province (AGEM) at two meetings, held on 22 June, at which food estate representatives and business owners voiced their opinions with respect to this system, which is already operating successfully in Mercabilbao.
The project proposes the creation of a pool inside the wholesale market, with controlled circulation of reusable containers used in commercial transactions. Here, containers would be given to producers or wholesalers to market their stock. Once returned by the retailers, the containers would be cleaned, stored and classified in order to be once again put into circulation.
The study assures that this model would make it possible to unify container formats, ensure their hygiene and reduce waste. This would benefit wholesalers, since –as the document points out– costs would be lower and business space optimised, thanks to a reduction in container models which would facilitate stacking.
For wholesale markets, the system would mean a cost reduction in terms of waste management and would improve the image of and internal mobility in their precinct, because fewer crates would be simply abandoned.