Tesco is rationalising its fruit and vegetable packaging in a move which its global development manager Tony Baldock described as one of the most ambitious projects it has undertaken. Speaking at TOC 2000, a major specialist handling conference in Rotterdam last month, he revealed that research had shown that annually there was as much as £2m damage in transit. Apart from dealing with waste material, this was often caused because produce cartons, often poorly manufactured, were often the wrong size to adapt to its retail modular system. Baldock appealed for more standardisation, and said that the development of plastic trays for grapes ­ particularly vulnerable ­ had provided one solution. Tesco's Greek suppliers, for example, now shipped 30% of their fruit in this manner "Cape is also looking to using plastic trays within the next year," he added. "We have already completed work with British top fruit growers and last season took out cost within the operation in excess of £100,000, which has been passed back tor customers in price." Other potential, depending on the fruit, was in bulk bins and self locking, unlidded, larger corrugated cartons. {{FRESH PRODUCE }}