Content - Suppliers want light blue meat boxes

  • 17 April 2014

Suppliers want light blue meat boxes

After a long decision process, 13 companies from the meat industry have specified corner marks for the introduction of millions of new boxes.If it were up to Rewe, Kaufland and Edeka, every newly ordered meat box should be light blue from 1 July onwards.

Suppliers want light blue meat boxes

Text and image: Lebensmittel Zeitung dated 10 April 2014

The light blue E-Performance container is making progress in the meat industry. Among others, the new box will increase the traceability along the entire delivery chain - which is imperative if damage to image and deteriorating turnover through meat scandals are to be avoided in future. In contrast to the conventional red E-box, every light blue box bears an integrated, globally unique code - the GRAI.

The representatives of the meat industry already agreed on the introduction of a new transport container for packaged and fresh goods in June 2013. However, 13 companies, including the meat plants of Rewe, Kaufland and Edeka, have only now committed to exclusively order the light blue E-Performance containers as from1 July - which will successively replace the red meat box on the market.

Together, the companies are the first to have signed a “Code of Conduct” with GS1 Germany, which regulates the corner marks of the conversion. According to Angela Schillings-Schmitz, Sectoral Manager at GS1 Germany, the participants have “voluntarily obligated” to convert to the light blue E-Performance containers by 31 December 2019. “We are assuming that an average of 20 percent of the current containers will be replaced by new ones per annum”, is how Schillings-Schmitz explains the target period of five years. Sector observers are however expecting a duration of up to ten years.

The pioneers include the meat plants of Edeka (Regional Companies South-West, Rhein-Ruhr, Southern Bavaria, Northern Bavaria-Saxony-Thuringia and North), Kaufland, Rewe Group (Brandenburg) and Rewe Dortmund, as well as the “Sauerlandfrische Dornseifer” and the Avo plants. As service providers, the Deutsche Paletten Logistik, WBG-Pooling and Nagel Emballage Services want to promote the conversion. Measured on the size of the meat industry with its several hundred companies, the quantity of 13 seems low. However, Edeka, Rewe and Kaufland are acting as drivers on the market due to their volume of turnover and their hybrid function - as distributors and recipients of the goods. “The market will regulate the speed with which further companies will convert”, says Schillings-Schmitz of GS1 Germany.

The light blue E-Performance container may feature procedural advantages, but also a higher price. According to the sector, a red box costs approximately 3 Euros and the blue box around 4.50 Euros. This means that a total of 50 million containers will be moving through the German market.

Edeka South-West has been using a white E-Performance box in the Rheinstetten meat plant since 2011. Logistics strategists had previously hoped that the white box would establish itself as a standard solution within the sector. However, this did not happen. So now Edeka South-West is moving from white to light blue. The identical blue and white E-Performance containers should also be treated alike.