FOOD & BEVERAGES: Smaller Packs For The French
Recent Western Cape Business News
WITH consumers having returned from summer holidays and starting the school year, Capespan France is entering the busiest time of year for citrus, servicing mainly multiples with mostly pre-packed oranges and grapefruit.
Capespan France is a division of the Bellville-based Capespan group.
Says Capespan France deputy commercial manager Nigel Hodge, “Our main service provider is pre-packing up to 15 different types of netted fruit and single layer display cartons every day. It’s a huge logistical task since one multiple customer may require deliveries of several product lines to as many as 15 depots. Orders received during the morning have to be pre-packed and ready for dispatch in the afternoon to meet early morning delivery deadlines the next day. Connected to the Capespan computer system, the service provider receives orders directly and enters details of the bulk cartons fed into the packing lines to produce the pre-packed fruit. This data is essential to provide traceability between the product purchased by the consumer and the exported carton.”
The effects of the economic meltdown have influenced product types required by the multiples, leading to a demand for even lower cost packs. “This has been satisfied by, for example, packing a 3 kg net rather than 2 kg of small calibre fruit. Nets are placed in the original carton and the export pallet is used for delivery to the depot,” Hodge explains.
“However, minimum quality standards haven’t been lowered; therefore, we have to maintain the same vigilance as in the past. We’ve successfully expanded our contracted business with the catering trade. Nevertheless, even here the consequences of the economic straits have been felt strongly. Temporary closure of car factories reduced catering service demand, as well as a switch to cheaper, smaller sized fruit.”
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