(Dec. 23, 12:26 p.m.) Citing a savings to growers of $350,000 a year and a reduced effect on the environment, Nogales, Ariz.-based Farmer’s Best International LLC signed a long-term contract with Chep Equipment Pooling systems, Orlando, Fla.

Farmer’s Best has been using Chep pallets for its shipments from growers in Sinaloa and Sonora, Mexico and from its Nogales facilities since 2003.

Derek Hannum, Chep’s director of marketing, did not specify the terms of the contract.

Leonardo Tarriba, Farmer’s Best general manager, said in a news release the savings using Chep has been significant.

“Our growers are saving approximately $350,000 per year by using the Chep program and are also helping to improve the environment,” he said.

Farmer’s Best has been able to reduce its solid waste by nearly a million pounds, or 42 dump trucks full, a year, according to third-party analysis by Franklin Associates Ltd., Prairie Village, Kan., of Chep’s Life-Cycle Inventory.

Hannum said in the 18 years since Chep entered the U.S. market, the company helped growers, manufacturers and retailers of food and consumer goods reduce their supply chain costs by more than $2 billion.