2 January 2002
Lost spud box seeks rightful owner…

By Tom Allen-Stevens

A NEW web-based tracking system has been launched to help return lost potato boxes to their rightful owners.

The British Potato Council (BPC) has developed the fast-track system to help levy payers trace the boxes, worth about 50 each, and save on replacements.

“Our aim is to help squeeze unnecessary costs out of potato supply chains,” explained BPC supply chain manager, Kate Evans.

“Growers often report 10-15 boxes are lost each season, while those that have gained boxes find poor labelling can make it impossible to identify owners.

“Merchants and packers also find boxes cause congestion and take up valuable storage space,” she added.

Companies and levy-payers can log on to the Boxsearch service, based on the BPCs website, and post information about any boxes they may have gained.

Meanwhile bereft owners of the missing boxes can search the site for their lost property.

It is hoped the service will help to reunite hundreds of boxes with their rightful owners.

The BPC says half of the UK crop (around two million tonnes) is stored in one-tonne boxes, worth a total of 100 million to the industry.

There are plans afoot to develop the website further, incorporating best practice guidelines for box labelling and handling.

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