CHINA – IFCO Systems, the German provider of Reusable Plastic Containers (RPCs) for fresh food, has opened a new production facility for its reusable plastic containers in Tianjin, northeastern China in cooperation with Polytec Group.

The facility will enable IFCO to locally produce its RPC model Steco 6421 in Tianjin to meet the rapid growth in the Chinese market. The company says that local production offers advantages for the environment and customers.

IFCO opened its office in China in 2015 and has been supplying the Chinese market from Europe. The packaging supplier noted that it is now experiencing rapid growth in the country, which lead to the company’s move to set up the production facility in the Asian country.

The facility will enable IFCO to respond more quickly to the needs of the local market and raises the production volume of the specific RPC model used in China reducing lead time significantly, the company said in a statement.

Additionally, IFCO observed that the local production positively impacts the footprint on the environment by eliminating transports from European production sites to China.

“IFCO can now react more quickly to changes in Chinese customers’ needs and provide them with optimal support in delivering fresh food from growersto consumers as quickly as possible,” the packaging supplier said in a statement.

As with all other production sites, IFCO assured its customers that the new facility in China ensures the highest standards of quality and hygiene.

The company will currently be importing the raw materials used for the RPC production from Europe, and to meet maximum food safety requirements, IFCO said it has aligned its production and hygiene processes to the world’s highest standards, complying with European food safety regulations.

These efforts are also recognized by independent third parties: IFCO is certified to ISO 9001 for its quality management. By complying with the highest food safety standards, the company insists it helps its customers to reduce product damage, supporting the fight against food waste

The company further explains that RPCs reduce packaging costs and improve supply chain efficiency through their intelligent design

“We are proud to open our first RPC production site in China and now manufacture our RPCs for the Chinese market locally,” said Wolfgang Orgeldinger, CEO of IFCO Systems.

“This will enable us to meet our customers’ requirements even better and react faster to local changes in demand. By manufacturing the RPCs in the country of use, we also protect the environment and reduce logistics costs.”

IFCO currently operates a pool of over 314 million reusable food packaging solutions in over 50 countries, which are used for over 1.7 billion shipments of fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, bread, and other items from suppliers to grocery retailers.