Renting brings crate washing at scale within reach
As a member of a growers’ cooperative, you want the partnership with your colleagues to bear fruit. One of the ways to achieve that is through pooling crates and trays. Whether you manage a pooling system with crates for fresh produce traders, or have a shared inventory of materials with fellow growers, sooner or later those trays and crates will need washing. What would be a smart approach?
An obvious solution would be to purchase a washing machine, to keep all those trays and crates clean. A fine solution for many companies, but there are also situations where this isn’t the best available option. Growers’ organizations or cooperatives aren’t for-profit – a major investment in a tray or crate washer can mean a significant dent in the budget.
The alternative: renting
Purchasing isn’t necessary, however. You may already be aware of the possibility to rent smaller washing machines. But did you know it’s also possible to rent machines that are able to wash 1500 crates per hour? This could be an interesting option for growers’ organizations and cooperatives, enabling them to distribute costs more evenly among members.
For growers’ cooperatives, renting a bigger washing lines provides even more benefits. A grower might be facing a virus outbreak or a threat, such as ToBRFV. A tray washer can then be rented to thoroughly clean all trays from the various growers within the cooperative, removing the virus threat. Because the machine is already at hand, you don’t have to wait to take action in such a situation.
These days in particular, with supply chains being disrupted, the need is growing for a reliable solution that’s available when required. The rental machines are already on stand-by, so no need to wait for parts – and there’s nothing to worry about when it comes to maintenance. For companies that only want to use a washing line temporarily, like growers of seasonal products such as asparagus, or because their regular washing machine isn’t working due to a renovation, rental is also a good solution.
Joep Janssen, general manager of Limex, confirms that it’s useful to rent washing machines. “We’ve rented out our bigger washing machines to various clients, and we get positive feedback from them. We were able to help a large Belgian supermarket for example, which rented a machine for a year because of a renovation.”
A European pooling system for crates also experienced the benefits of renting – they made use of it to handle peaks in the summer. In addition to their standard range of washing machines, Limex has two larger washing lines in its rental portfolio. “These are available throughout Europe, and can be rented for a period of two months or more. The washers are equipped to apply our washing process, which has been validated by Groen Agro Control to remove ToBRFV, CGMMV and Fusarium oxysporum from crates,” Joep concludes.