Revolutionary Packaging Solution Completed by Milopri
Moving Forward – Revolutionary Packaging Solution Completed by Milopri
Milopri, part of the Milouot complex, in collaboration with Plasgad have upgraded the packing and shipping system, evolving from cardboard crates to disposable plastic crates.
Milopri, joint owned by a collaborative of 25 kibbutzim in the Western Galilee, is one of the largest packaging houses in Israel for avocado and lychee and located near Kibbutz Rosh Hanikra in the north. Milopri’s main goal is to bring maximum value to growers for their products, while constantly expanding to provide fresh and high-quality produce to the customers in the local market. In recent years, 20,000 to 26,000 tons are packaged in packing facilities, representing about 25% of Israel’s total crop and about one third of the country’s avocado exports. Approximately 75% are marketed for export – primarily to Western Europe. The main variety of avocado is Haas with further varieties for export including Ettinger, Pinkerton, Fuerte, Ardit, Reed and more.
Milopri has until now exported and marketed their products in cardboard crates. In recent years, as part of streamlining process, the company has understood that moving to plastic crates will be advantageous in terms of better preserving produce, saving costs and making a significant contribution to the environment. Milopri decided to contact Plasgad, specialists in advanced packaging solutions, in order to research and test an efficient packaging solution that could fully meet the company’s needs. The point-of-contact and driving force behind the project is Mr. Ben Vardi, Vice President of Operations for Milopri.
In the interests of best serving the project, a dedicated team was built, comprised of sales, development and operation personnel on behalf of the two companies, Plasgad and Milopri. With unprecedented cooperation, a solution was built to suit the unique needs of Milopri. The process included careful examination of the existing system and understanding the entire process lifecycle: From the moment fruit was received and packaged right up until delivery to its destination, whether locally or the international market. A weak point was identified in the current process requiring a smart solution that could be functional, effective and economical. Led by Iftah Poran, VP Development at Plasgad and Michal Moses, Product Manager at Plasgad, a number of options were developed in order to offer a solution that could suit the requirements and needs of Milopri.
The solution that was created for Milopri is the “Breeze” crate, an ultra light-weight, disposable crate designed for fruit shipping that has not yet ripened (but not exclusively). The Breeze crate is intended to remain in the steam room, based on an advanced engineering design that allows maximum ventilation. As a result, despite being a light disposable box, it is particularly strong. The highlight of the new crate’s functionality, already earning it a registered patent, is a control opening allowing fruit to be sampled from the any crate in the bulk – without the need to cut the crate or unpack the pallet. All information relevant to a crate’s contents were previously attached to the cardboard boxes by means of a sticker and manually marked. Today they are printed directly on the plastic crate as part of an automated production line. The Breeze crates have already entered the Milopri packing and delivery system. The next stage will play an important role for the company in maintaining sustainability and the environment – the collection and recycling of crates at endpoints for the production of new crates.
Ben Vardi, VP of Operations at Milopri, explained the driving force behind the company’s search for a new packaging solution: “The Milopri philosophy is that to remain a leading supplier of avocados, it is important to analyze over the years what our clients need, both in terms of exports and the local market, bringing fresh produce to the home consumer of the highest quality, at the highest level. I believe that the solution we created in working with Plasgad reflects this concept. We are indeed able to leapfrog to a new standard, providing a quality and convenient solution for both our customers and the environment. “
Alon Kadosh, VP Sales Israel added: “Milopri approached Plasgad after reviewing the market and reaching the conclusion that Plasgad is the company most able to provide a quality solution for the export of fruit around the world. Milopri can enjoy the Plasgad technological advantages at its disposal, adapting a unique and high-end crate that can save money throughout the export chain and best protect the fruit as it is transported during the ripening process. All this was made possible thanks to the elevated level of cooperation throughout the process and appreciation of a mutual commitment. “