Located in Lodi, California is one of several Pacific Coast Producers plants that are spread along the West Coast. I stopped by for a visit to see our MacroBins in action during their peach harvest and to gather a testimonial from Steve Freeman, the Vice President of Field Operations for Pacific Coast Producers.
Pacific Coast Producers is a grower owned cooperative that processes and packages apricots, peaches, pears, grapes, and tomatoes so that they are store-ready.
During a harvest, a day’s journey for a packing company’s MacroBins starts with their use in the field – which for my visit meant that the bins were first being used at peach orchards. It is here that pickers fill the bins with ripe peaches. Full bins are then loaded onto a truck and taken back to the plant where the peaches are inspected and sorted.
The bins are used during various steps of the packing process at the plant, whether they’re storing fresh produce or having their contents emptied onto the packing line. When finished at the plant, the containers are sent back to the farms for more loads of produce.
When I spoke with Steve Freeman about his and the company’s experience with Macro Plastics, I was pleased to hear that our history together has been an extremely positive one.
PCP bought their first bins back in 1992, starting out with 2,000 total. Because wood bins were the prominent type of harvest bin back then, this was PCP’s first experience with plastic. The benefits of using plastic instead of wood were clear, which is why PCP bought 10,000 bins a year for the next five years.
Steve mentioned some of these benefits, stating that MacroBins are much easier for growers to use thanks to no splintering and better movability.
And because our plastic bins weigh 40-45 lbs less than wood bins, PCP has experienced a lot of savings with the switch to plastic. Steve stated that everything they do is on a gross pound basis, meaning that truckers and cold storage facilities are paid by the pound. Cutting down on the tare weight of the bin results in cheaper rates. Additionally, the lighter weight also allows for more containers to be loaded onto a truck. According to Steve, they typically get 50 bins per load compared to 44 or 46 with wood bins.
Our relationship with Pacific Coast Producers has lasted 26 years, and they currently own approximately 175,000 plastic bins.