Colruyt Group makes fruit and vegetable deliveries greener

Since mid-August, green folding crates have replaced the blue crates in the freshmarts of Colruyt Group's food stores (Colruyt Lowest Prices, OKay, Bio-Planet and Spar Colruyt Group). Four folding crates take up as much room as one old crate saving the group transport and space. The transition from blue to green crates will be complete by the end of 2021.

Fresh products such as fruit and vegetables are displayed in blue crates in Colruyt Group's stores (Colruyt Lowest Prices, OKay, Bio-Planet and Spar Colruyt Group) today. We use these crates to transport goods from the supplier to the store. Colruyt Group is replacing these rigid blue crates with green folding crates.

"When we fold these new crates, they take up 4 times less room on the return trip and we send only 200,000 pallets back to the return centres instead of 700,000 a year. Cost-saving, efficient and environment-friendlier. So, the new green folding crates are greener, literally and figuratively speaking", says Martine Pauwels, Colruyt Group Logistics Manager.

For customers, only the look in the store will change: green instead of blue crates. The products remain available in the same way, with the same quality and freshness.

Colruyt Group takes care of cleaning
We make the switch in collaboration with logistic partner Euro Pool System (EPS). "We are pleased to realise the transition from the rigid blue crate to the green folding crate with Colruyt Group. This fits in with EPS's total plan to switch the entire fresh food supply chain in the Benelux to the latest folding crate. Since we started our long-term collaboration with Colruyt Group, we constantly tried to make the group's logistic chain as efficient as possible. The transition to the green folding crate is the ultimate result, making the entire fresh chain more sustainable at one stroke", says Dirk Vercammen, regional manager for Western Europe at Euro Pool System.

Colruyt Group stands out because it cleans the crates in its own return centre. Empty crates usually return to EPS to be cleaned and prepared to be filled again. "By washing the crates ourselves, we save transport to an external washing machine. This fits in with Colruyt Group's sustainability story: step by step towards sustainable mobility", says Martine Pauwels, Colruyt Group Logistics Manager. The retailer thus completes the circle. Suppliers can take back clean crates to fill them with products for the stores again.

Due to the arrival of the new crates, Colruyt Group is investing in a new crate washing installation. The new machine will be ready in 2021.

8 million
Colruyt Group will replace a total of 8 million crates. The old blue crates will be pulverised and used to produce the new green folding crates.

The green folding crates have been visible in the freshmarts of all Colruyt Group food stores (Colruyt Lowest Prices, OKay, Bio-Planet and Spar Colruyt Group) since mid-August. By the end of 2021, all blue crates will have been replaced with the new green folding crates.

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