The Mirabelle de Lorraine was an endangered fruit. So in 1991, more than 200 producers from Lorraine joined forces to form the Cooperative Vegafruits with the aim of revitalizing it. The focus is on shared know-how, quality assurance and marketing under the protected designation of origin IGP Mirabelle de Lorraine, as well as direct processing and distribution to trading partners. With a potential of 8,000 tons of fruit produced by the 200 producers on their 600 hectares of orchards, the cooperative represents 40% of the world mirabelle plum market.
"The high quality standards are reflected in all phases of logistics from ploughing, storage, transport and processing into jam, puree or liqueur. We are therefore particularly proud to be able to support this exceptional fruit in the logistics process with our stackable and nestable plastic harvest and transport containers," explains Michaël Cibois, Sales Manager of Gamma-Wopla SA. The transport containers have been specially adapted to the small quality fruit. Currently, about 60,000 PVBI-6412 bi-color plastic containers from Gamma-Wopla are in use.
Cibois explains the process: "At the beginning of the harvest, we send the robust plastic boxes to the producers. The mirabelle plums are then picked by hand and transported in the boxes to the cooperative and its internal processing facilities. The same container can be used from the harvest to the processing facility."
The Bi-Color container can be nest stacked with a 180° rotation. "The smart, two color system allows for easy and quick handling without accidental stacking and loss of time. Due to the asymmetrical arrangement of the stacking lugs, a volume reduction of 50% can be achieved," which results in significant savings on return transport. "The support lugs on the upper edge of the container ensure stability and even, easy stacking, without slipping, so that the mirabelle plum is not squashed and retains its top quality when it is brought to the trade or the processing plant. The perforated bottom and side walls, which have been specially adapted to the small fruit sizes, also ensure better ventilation and protection of the product." Ergonomically shaped handles, which are closed on the long side to prevent the small fruit from falling out, allow safe and easy handling.
The project is a matter close to the heart of Gamma-Wopla, the environment and sustainable development are a hobbyhorse in the development of new products: "By creating new orchards in Lorraine, the producers have saved an entire ecosystem threatened with extinction and were awarded the French Eco-label for this in 1995. This is why sustainable logistics also plays an important role for them."
"Thanks to our special material, the containers are very robust and can be reused again and again They can be cleaned easily and hygienically and there are no additional packaging or disposal costs. At the end of their useful life they will 100% recyclable."
For more information:
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