RPA Honors Kroger Executive

WASHINGTON--The Reusable Packaging Association (RPA, formerly the Reusable Pallet and Container Coalition) announces that Phil Davis, senior perishables supply chain manager of the Kroger Co., is this year’s recipient of RPA’s prestigious 2008 Leadership Award.

Kroger, based in Cincinnati, has more than 320,000 associates serving customers in 2,476 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local names, including Kroger, Ralphs, Fred Meyer, and Food 4 Less.

RPA president, Fred Heptinstall, who is also president of IFCO RPC Management Services, North America, says, “Phil has been a relentless advocate for reusables for the past four years. He has not only focused on getting his company to convert to reusables, but has also been instrumental in converting many of their suppliers to implement reusable plastic pallets, pooled block pallets, and reusable containers. These conversions have led to product quality improvement, waste reduction, ergonomic improvements, and economic benefits for Kroger.”

In accepting the award, Davis gave his philosophy about the value of reusable packaging systems. “I believe we are still on the ground floor of understanding and realizing all of the benefits and added value that reusables can bring to the supply chain. Environmental benefits, improved ergonomics, better protection of product, and improved stability of the shipping platform are just a few of the many benefits that are possible with reusables. In order to maximize the full benefit of reusables, the industry needs to continue to work as a team, including product suppliers, reusable suppliers, transportation providers, and the end receiver of products. The RPA plays an important role in enabling this cross communication of ideas and shared learning.”

Recipients of the RPA Leadership Award meet rigorous criteria in the selection process, including demonstrated advocacy toward the growth, education, and use of reusables; significant contribution to the growth of reusables in the past year; support of the RPA mission; and direct involvement with the RPA and its activities.

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