Delivering fresh produce can be complicated. Not only does the produce need to be harvested, processed and delivered quickly enough to ensure freshness, but many consumers today demand the food that they purchase from restaurants, grocery stores and the like are not just fresh, but also high quality, organic and locally sourced. That puts a lot of pressure on buyers to make sure that the produce and other grocery products they are purchasing are of high enough standards to meet demand.
BIX Produce, Co., a member of PRO*ACT, has answered this call for many businesses, and since 1930, has provided fresh, quality produce through strong grower relationships and a state-of-the art facility in Saint Paul, Minnesota. BIX, which focuses on bringing large and small customers in the Upper Midwest quality produce, guarantees their customers access to local fruits and vegetables along with a vast selection of fresh cut products that save their customers time and money. By partnering with more than 30 local farmers and producers, BIX is able to offer their customers access to more than 4,000 products!
Not only is BIX committed to providing quality product, but the company is also dedicated to finding ways to improve their operations and support green efforts. One recent issue BIX has tackled to meet this goal is through their Waste Diversion program. The program targets their waste stream as a way to cut costs and support sustainability, specifically by installing a cardboard auger and starting to recycle plastic film.
Cardboard Auger Program
About the same size of a traditional compactor, BIX recently invested in a new auger to shred and compress cardboard much more efficiently. For example, since installing the auger, BIX has been able to include three times as much cardboard into one haul! This has reduced the number of hauls per week and decreased labor costs, since the auger is able to automatically turn on when it is full and crush the cardboard five times faster than traditional compactors. This program had a quick payback and allows BIX to reinvest the savings back into the business.
Plastic Film Recycling
In order to improve their recycling program, BIX began sorting and recycling plastics, including plastic film. This has allowed the company to reduce their overall waste and increase money earned from recycling efforts. Employees begin the process by sorting plastic waste into cardboard containers, leaving more room in the main dumpster for other types of waste and decreasing the number of hauls needed to remove the waste. By implementing the plastic film recycling program, BIX was able to reduce the number of loads of traditional waste by enough to completely offset the recycling cost.
Besides the benefits the company has been able to reap due to cost savings, BIX has been able to demonstrate corporate responsibility, all while focusing on making the company’s supply chain more sustainable. “The end goal for our operational waste would be for us to have very little to no waste go to the landfill, and I would like to reduce our waste costs to 0,” Troy Wilcox, Director of Operations, said. “In my 37 years with the company I have worked on many initiatives that have resulted in positive benefits for our customers and BIX. By focusing on sustainability, we have been able to positively impact our customers, business, employees, and community. It has been very rewarding, and the benefits have been well received by our customers and the community.”
To learn more about BIX Produce’s superior quality produce, personalized service for customers, and customized produce solutions, visit the company’s website at www.bixproduce.com.