Hidden Star Orchards

Hidden Star Orchards -Transporting and displaying fruit and produce for farm-to-market

The Challenge:

If you operate a farm – big or small – and sell your produce directly at farmers’ markets, you face some unique challenges. While cardboard boxes are useful to move produce to a market, they’re only good for one use and are far from ideal for displaying your goods to the public. The cost of each box may be low, but the hidden costs add up fast: They take time away from harvesters with the need to build each box before filling it. Also, because they have low durability, they work for either harvest and transfer or for storage. But not for both.

These were costly problems for Hidden Star Orchards. Their all-organic orchard produces fruit to be sold at farmers markets all over the San Francisco Bay area. Not only did cardboard boxes multiply costs and slow the harvesting process, they also contradicted their strong commitment to producing zero waste on the farm. They pride themselves on their ability to transform unsold fruit into delicious sauces, ciders, jams and chips. Creating an unending flow of consumed cardboard just didn’t fit their values.

The Crate Solution

InterCrate totes offered a perfect solution for Hidden Star Orchards’ farm-to-market needs. InterCrate provided Hidden Star Orchard a cost-effective solution to harvest, transport, and display their fruit and products.

They chose the InterCrate 8.5, It accommodates a wide range of fruits and vegetables in a single container, especially the bulky and hard-to-handle crops. Hidden Star uses these crates for harvest, transport and then to display their products for sale, season after season. And on the way back to the farm, these InterCrates efficiently nest for easy transport.

The Benefit of Using InterCrates

Hidden Star Orchards co-owner Johanne Smit believes in the long-term cost savings of using the InterCrate 8.5, “It made no sense to use cardboard boxes to showcase beautiful fruit, apple cider, blueberry jams and ciders. We saw a huge operating cost savings with InterCrate containers. I used to spend between $1.75 and $2.00 per corrugated box and get maybe 5 uses out of them. With InterCrate containers I can get thousands of turns with them! I would also spend many man-hours in putting together the corrugated boxes before I could use them. Now my InterCrates are ready to go when I am.”

InterCrate 8.5 is InterCrate’s most versatile and popular product. Its wall height allows growers to fit a wide range of fruits and vegetables in a single container. And it’s a durable container as well, built to last over hundreds of uses. It stacks well with other InterCrate products, like the 4.5, 6.7and the AquaTote 10.5. No wonder it has become the product logistics workhorse of Hidden Star Orchards.

To find out how InterCrate containers can help you raise you profits while you raise your produce, contact us.