The National Watermelon Association (NWA, Plant City, Fla.) and CHEP (Orlando, www.chep.com), a provider of pallet and container pooling services, have joined forces to improve the way watermelon is transported from the grower to the retailer.
“This is revolutionary--it is changing a major supplier to our industry into a major partner,” said Bob Morrissey, executive director of NWA. “We’re very excited about the relationship and the potential benefit for both organizations.”
With CHEP’s assistance, the NWA will fund research, lobbying and consumer promotion activities, as well as ongoing operations at the group.
“We’re asking our members to talk with CHEP because of the benefits they will see as growers and because of the benefits that we will see as an industry. We use the CHEP program and see the benefits everyday,” said Bradley O’Neil, President of NWA and Owner of Coosaw Farms, Fairfax, South Carolina.
The CHEP pallet pooling program provides growers with durable shipping platforms that improve productivity and lower product damage. CHEP’s global reach also ensures a reliable supply of pallets.
“By becoming more involved with customers and their trade groups, like the NWA, CHEP will gain a better understanding of our customers’ needs and concerns. We expect this to act as a template for the creation of partnerships with other trade groups in the USA and overseas,” said Brian Malloy, senior vice resident, sales, CHEP.