With this in mind, it is easier to understand why the Association of Producers-Exporters of Fruits and Vegetables in the Region of Murcia (Proexport) has quantified the increased cost involved in this practice being done by plastic boxes pools producers.
The report has been authored by Ramon Tubío, and focuses on 6 products: lettuce, broccoli, peppers, melons, artichokes and tomatoes; of which 23% of the production is done in pool plastic boxes. Depending on the product, the extra cost against the cardboard is between 0.27 and 1.10 euros per box sold and between 4 and 18 cents per kilogram which generates actual losses of 25, 8 million, which would rise to 112 million if it were all produced with that system.
In Tubío´s words, "this is really an issue of freedom, companies can choose the option they want to." The problem is not just that large distribution companies require that you use plastic instead of cardboard "but that they say to you: use this pool" in that situation, the power of negotiation of producers is zero, which does not happen with cardboard, which provided fulfilment of requirements, the best conditions can be negotiated.
"When you are forced to use the plastic case you can´t print labels. Tomatoes from Murcia when they arrive to Germany are equally packaged to those that get to Morocco because the box is exactly the same."
Source: El economista.