Skip to main content

DeCA Launches Reusable Plastic Container Program for Produce

The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) has furthered its commitment to sustainability with its launch of a reuseable plastic container (RPC) program in conjunction with the Military Produce Group and Tampa, Fla.-based IFCO Systems for the shipment of fresh produce to dozens of commissaries. The Military Produce Group, which supplies fruits and vegetables to commissaries in the southern United States, is moving RPCs from corrugated boxes for several commodities. 

The initial rollout of RPCs covers about 32 DeCA locations, and will shortly increase to 71 DeCA locations served from Military Produce Group distribution centers in Norfolk, Va., Birmingham, Ala., and Savannah, Ga. 

“The Defense Commissary Agency is committed to an environmentally sustainable operation and applauds MPG’s use of reusable containers to limit the amount of waste heading to landfills and reduce product damage,” said Bridget Bennett, DeCA’s supervisory category manager of produce.

Military Produce Group works with grower/shippers like Village Farms, Seald Sweet, Bolthouse Farms and Tanimura & Antle to ensure military families get fresh produce delivered to their local commissary at the peak of ripeness.

“The Military Produce Group works diligently to provide healthy food to the commissaries we serve and to do it in a way that keeps our carbon footprint to a minimum,” said Al Oliver, director of sales and marketing at Military Produce Group. “RPCs from IFCO are helping us be more sustainable while improving the efficiency of our operations,”

IFCO has more than 180 million RPCs in circulation, and handles all RPC logistics, from distributions to cleaning to re-entry into the supply chain. After retail use, IFCO RPCs are folded, collected and shipped back to one of IFCO’s service facilities, where they are sanitized and prepared for re-use.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds