This Vancouver to Miami flight was for more than just fun in the sun.
For Len Krahn, production and growing manager for Aldergrove, British Columbia-based SunSelect Produce LP, a greenhouse bell pepper grower for The Oppenheimer Group, it was a breakthrough.
Krahn was not satisfied with the condition of his peppers when they reached East Coast destinations.
Despite a stable temperature during shipping, varying humidity caused inconsistent product.
“We were having problems with the product going coast to coast and having too much moisture in the box,” Krahn said. “We were experiencing a lot of kicks when it got there because the product wasn’t holding up.”
Krahn called Mike Nordin, his salesman for International Paper, Memphis, Tenn., and asked for a solution.
Nordin suggested a trial of the company’s Climaguard series.
A truck was loaded with peppers in four different types of container:
- an untreated control box that SunSelect currently was using;
- a Climaguard standard medium box;
- a Climaguard medium with a Climacoat liner; and
- a Climaguard medium with an Aquasafe liner, designed for very moist cargo.
When the truck arrived in Miami a few days later, the results were surprising.
“After five days of travel, the peppers looked just as they did when they went into the box,” Krahn said. “It was incredible.”
Krahn said SunSelect chose option B — the Climacoat liner — because the Aquasafe box was a little too much.
“The fear was if we shipped them locally, they wouldn’t age at all and we’d get kicked back because of green products,” he said.
The “just right” box proved to be more cost-effective than the previous model Sun Selects was using.