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Fruit & vegetable packing
Flower Packing Software by farmsoft
Manage the entire flower sorting, grading, and packing process. From inventory management, to orders and dispatch management, quality control, packing cost management, employee costs, pack out reporting and more. Download full details of FarmSoft Flower Packing Software here.
FarmSoft Flower Packing Software provides cutting edge software for the management of flower processing and flower packing. Including flower quality control, sales, dispatch, staff & inventory control. All of the powerful features of FarmSoft Flower Packing can be used in the flower packing and flower export industry.
For exporters of flowers, FarmSoft flower packing software maintains exceptionally high standards of traceability for all flower processing, flower warehousing, and flower exporting businesses. Maintain the same safety and traceability levels as required for food safety.
FarmSoft Flower Packing software manages the entire process of receiving flowers from your own farm, external flower suppliers, quality control processes, grading, sorting, packing and wrapping, dispatch, sales, and invoicing process.
Download the FarmSoft Flower Packhouse Software brochure.
- Fully manage cutting and stemming processes
- Manage all Flower Packing operations
- Flower Packing management for flowers provided by external suppliers and your own farms
- Flower pack shed inventory management of all product, in all states
- Flower Packhouse traceability
- Flower Packhouse standards and compliance support (BRC, HACCP, GlobalGAP, ISO)
- Dispatch, orders, and sales order, sales, invoicing
- Supports flower export regulations and processes
- Flower sorting, fruit grading, fruit processing
- Woks with any flower packhouse design
- Flower traceability for PTI (Produce Traceability Initiative) and many other standards
- Flower tracking and advanced traceability systems
- Packhouse support for mobile devices
Other packhouse solutions have trouble managing these processes that you can easily using FarmSoft Packhouse Manager:
- Flower sorting and grading, including waste measurement, management, and complex assignment of flower properties (up to seven different categories of fully configurable produce status descriptors)
- Ripening management, including alerts, and flower expiry management
- Sorting & grading flower in batches with multiple suppliers of flowers
- Packing of batches with multiple suppliers of flowers in the one batch, whilst maintaining traceability and report ability of the pack out
- Automatic enforcement of cool chain requirements for flower handling
- Configure unlimited quality control programs, including specific programs for specific flower, variety, customer, or finished product
- Tests can be for almost anything, such as testing incoming flowers, outgoing flowers, pre pack, pre graded flowers, Packhouse cleanliness test, employee performance, task quality control etc. You can define the subject (thing) that you are testing
- Each test can be a pass/fail, or range style test (ie: where results must be within the range of two numbers, or above or below a number)
- Automatically force flowers to be put on hold if selected tests fail
- Manually put flowers on hold for further inspection
- On screen alerts for flowers that has been put on hold
- Set the number of tests to make the entire test program fail
- Set individual tests to make an entire test program fail
- Set the number of tests in a Category to make the entire test program fail
- Each flower quality control program can be configured to have unlimited categories
- Each flower quality control category can have unlimited tests
- Each flower quality control program can record important details such as version, manager, and flower quality control documentation can be directly attached to the quality control program
- Configure unlimited “classes” that can be assigned to flowers
- Configure unlimited “features” that can be assigned to flowers. There can be four sets of features, for example color, grade, size, pack, etc.
Want to discuss how flower packing software can help improve your business? Talk to a FarmSoft flower packing software consultant today!
FarmSoft flower packing software delivers in every way. From inventory management, to orders and dispatch management, quality control, packing cost management, employee costs, pack out reporting and more. Download full details of FarmSoft Flower Packing Software here.
Reference: Less fresh produce waste more traceability Accurate inventory shipping fruit handling guidelines traceability guidelines food safety fresh produce traceability.
Research and knowledge at the service of taste and aesthetics
Spain: Edible flowers are a booming market
Edible flowers, until now a niche specialized market, are booming in Spain. "We have a few companies in Spain. Each of them has its own specificity and, although we are natural competitors, we are not rivals: there is a real need for corporatism to represent our interests in such an innovative sector. We are creating an association of edible flower producers to advance the profession and the market. This will allow us to be better represented before official bodies, which do not usually listen to small producers", comments Laura Carrera, CEO of Innoflower, a member of the Frutas Olivar de Mercamadrid group founded in 2016.
Laura Carrera, CEO of Innoflower
Laura Carrera is a doctor specialized in the reproductive biology of flowers and now an entrepreneur. "I thought it was important to combine different perspectives in a single profession: from the analysis of varieties in the laboratory, the practice of cropland and entrepreneurial activity," notes Laura Carrera.
Fresh flower of I range (Tulbaghia)
"The world of edible flowers is much wider than a simple flower added to a salad. That would be the product of the I range: the fresh flower, selected in the field and in the workshop, with no more processing than its visual selection. The date of preferential consumption goes from 3 to 12 days (depending on species), under controlled temperature between 4 and 6 ºC and without breaking the cold chain. Hence the difficulty of combining flowers with other plants, such as salads in bags (pre-prepared convenience food products), with other conservation requirements", continues Laura..
The processed flowers for the gastronomy sector are presented in different formats:
- The dehydrated flower from which the moisture has been extracted and which has a shelf life of more than 2 years. Its uses, from infusions to use in cocktails.
- The freeze-dried edible flower. It is a highly technological process, where the flower maintains all its properties and eye-catching. After a freezing or ultrafreezing process the humidity is eliminated by high pressures (sublimation), obtaining a product with a useful life of more than 2 years. The main use is in bakery.
- The crystallized flower. It is pure beauty, nature preserved and edible, keeping its natural form almost intact. It is glazed with egg, pasteurized by hand, petal by petal with a brush, coated with sugar and then dehydrated at low temperature for 4 days. This laborious process is authentic craftsmanship.
- The flour of edible flowers, either dried or freeze-dried, used for the food industry. Increasingly successful in different sectors are the powdered flowers to make from dough to ice cream, to more original uses such as the use of an ingredient to make croquettes, flower breads, etc..
"Our continental Mediterranean climate is ideal for certain types of flowers such as mini-pencies. Any production area has its advantages and disadvantages, there is no perfect climate, it is simply a matter of knowing how to choose the varieties that best suit the context, the optimal planting date and thus respond to market demand," concludes Laura.
With farms in Soria and Zaragoza, Laura Carrera comments that the handling of edible flowers is not so different from that of other horticultural products. Because of this, it is also related to times of the year and their handling. And that this consumption is sometimes erratic and subject to national festivities.
Innoflower sells more than 50 varieties. Farms in different climates allow flowers to be offered throughout the 12 months of the year. "For now our volume is more than enough to supply the Spanish market and the one from France and Italy. But we are continuing to expand: this is only our third year", explains Laura Carrera.
Founded in 2016, the company is dedicated to the cultivation, collection, marketing and direct sale of edible flowers. Makro's supplier, Montañita sells the high-quality pre-prepared convenience food brand distributed exclusively by Frutas Olivar de Mercamadrid and majority partner of Innoflower. The flowers are distributed to numerous stores through wholesalers such as Mercabarna and Mercamadrid, among other national markets.
For more information:
Laura Carrera, CEO
European launch Flower Sprout at Fruit Logistica
The UK-based company Tozer Seeds, devoted to the globalsupply of seeds to vegetable growers, with a strong focus on research,development and innovation, held a conference at the latest edition of FruitLogistica to announce the European launch of its newest vegetable, the FlowerSprout.David Rogers, UK Sales Director, explains that “allbrassicas, including cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower,originally came from wild cabbage. At Tozer, we play around and see what otherconcept vegetables we can create, and from a cross between Brussels sprouts andkale, we created a new vegetable, called Flower Sprout, after twenty years ofselection and refining.”
David Rogers, UK Sales Director at the launch of the Flower Sprout
When the company started working on its development, therewas a belief that the concept was exactly what people expected from avegetable. “It is very easy to prepare, it doesn’t have the strong taste ofBrussels sprouts and it is also very versatile; you can eat it raw or cook itin many ways,” states David. “It also seems to have struck a chord in socialmedia.”
In 2010, the product finally reached the shelves of Marks& Spencer in the UK, receiving a fair amount of media attention, and in2013 it was also launched at other chains, like Waitrose or Asda, with recentinterest from Tesco, which will soon start a trial run. “It is a seasonalproduct; it arrives to supermarkets in October and stays on the shelves untilMarch,” explains David.
In 2013, Tozer was nominated for the innovation award at Fruit Logistica,generating plenty of attention internationally, particularly in the U.S., andfacilitating the product’s launch in this market, “where it was decided thename would be better if it contained the word ‘kale’. This is why Flower Sproutadopted the name Kalettes, which was launched last October,” affirms David.
In Europe, the product is arriving in Switzerland, theNetherlands and Germany. David explains that, “the license is granted byterritories, so one company will have exclusive rights for its distribution ineach country. We aim to maintain the product’s value by keeping the marketingquite tight.”
Marta Arroyo, AccountDirector at Mint Global Marketing
For its part, the company Mint Global Marketing will be incharge of promoting the product across Europe. “Our main target will beretailers, and our secondary target will be the consumer,” affirms AccountDirector Marta Arroyo.
“The Flower Sprouts is still not a well known vegetable and ourinitial goal is to get people talking about them,” she explains. “In themarkets where they have already reached the shelves, we plan to provide toolsto increase the consumers’ awareness about ways to cook them.”
The marketing campaign will especially target families withyoung children, emphasising that “The Flower Sprout is not just healthy, butmake you feel healthy; that they are not just easy to prepare, but they alsomake your life easier,” states Marta Arroyo.
In global terms, parsnip and celery are still Tozer’s coreproducts. The firm was actually the first seed company in the world ever toproduce F1 hybrid varieties, and its range includes numerous other products,such as rocket, leeks, salad onions, brassicas or lettuce.
“In any case for us, the Flower Sprout is quite a uniqueproduct, with still limited competition in the market, so in terms of straight-forwardseed sales, it is very valuable for us. The product itself also gives us a veryhigh profile. As a company, we aim to expand our presence outside the UK, andthis product can help us achieve that,” concludes Rogers.
For more information:
Tel: +34 91 791 29 41
Peruvian flower growers block the transit of trucks loaded with fruit
Strawberry producers from Huashao in the province of Yungay, Ancash, have requested the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation to send the Peruvian National Police to lift the illegal blockade that is taking place in the nearby town of Shillcop.
According to the producers of Huashao, the residents of Shillcop, who are mostly dedicated to the production of flowers, are impeding the passage of the trucks with strawberries as a form of protest, as they demand equality before the law during the coronavirus quarantine. According to the producers from Huashao, it is rather a demonstration of their selfishness and envy.
The residents of Shillcop believe that if the Government does not allow them to transport their flower cargoes, no other producer should be allowed to pass through their town towards Lima, even though the transport of food is guaranteed during the state of emergency, unlike the transport of ornamental flowers.
The roadblocks have affected fifty families dedicated to strawberry production in Huashao who could lose more than 6,000 kilograms of fruit per shipment, which is harvested twice a week and distributed in the various markets of the capital. Last Sunday, all the shipment was discarded along the road, as there was no way to give it away or transfer it by foot to Yungay.
The police from the Yungay Police Station appeared at the scene, but according to witnesses, they only asked the protestors and affected parties to settle things among themselves, despite the decree issued by the Government that allows the transit of food during the quarantine.
Producers from Ancash harvest and transport their strawberries in the early hours of the morning to prevent the sun from ruining them during their transfer to Lima. A new shipment was scheduled to depart on Tuesday, April 21, but producers complained they had no guarantees from the Police that the incident would not be repeated on Sunday.
Piet van Vugt: "Beautiful increase of assortment for our clients"
Netherlands: Van Vugt Kruiden starting with mini-vegetables from Southern France
The assortment of herbs from cultivation company and packing station, Van Vugt Kruiden in Ridderkerk has actually outgrown the name already. In addition to the herb assortment varying from current herbs such as coriander and parsley to special herbs such as pineapple sage and Red clover sorrel, the assortment has been increased over the last few years with a number of edible flowers and baby leaf as well. The latest addition to the assortment is a large variety of mini-vegetables from Southern France. "I will always be a 'herb man' , but these products are a good supplement for our local customers and abroad. On purpose we do not choose for big quantities, but for exclusivity," Piet van Vugt says.
Van Vugt receive the mini-vegetables under brand SALES directly from a French grower and is the only supplier in the Dutch market. The assortment of mini-vegetables consists of the small varieties of peppers, carrots, chicory, courgettes, beetroot, leeks, aubergines and courgette flower. "Just as with the herbs we do not work with stock and in this way we can guarantee a high quality level. Part of this is that a product will be unavailable for a while, if the quality is not as it should be. We supply those exclusive vegetables only if they are at their very best. Ultimately this is the best way," Piet says.
"I had been looking for an increase in our assortment with exclusive products for a while. For our customers, mainly active in the hotel and restaurant sector, it is ideal when they are in a position to obtain their products at one address. This is how it started with edible flowers and baby leaf as well. Sales started slowly and in the meantime just about every client buys edible flowers and baby leaf as part of his order. What started as a by-product is now an indispensable part of the assortment," Piet tells. The cultivation of mini-vegetables, however, is too specific to control and for our French grower, who was looking for a controlled selling arrangement, a real speciality."
More information about mini-vegetables is available at www.minigroenten.be
For more information:
Van Vugt Kruiden B.V.
2988 CG Ridderkerk
Tel: +31 (0)180-625660
Fax: +31 (0)180-625602
Afrex South Africa grows its global baby veg & edible flower footprint
Afrex South Africa, supplier of more than forty varieties of unique and niche baby vegetables, edible flowers and leaves, will be exhibiting their products at the Asia Fruit Logistica trade show in Hong Kong from 4 to 6 September 2019. The event takes place at the Asia World Expo, Lantau in Hong Kong.
John Kowarsky and Etienne Taitz, owners of Afrex South Africa, believe in the growth potential of markets in the Far East, which are already very important markets for the company.
“We will therefore be displaying our full range of baby and micro vegetables, herbs, our edible flowers and leaves at the exhibition,” says John. He notes that the ‘edible flower’ product line is showing strong growth for the company, and Afrex South Africa will be expanding their range of edible flowers while adapting it to markets in the Far East.
Afrex has been exporting perishable products from South Africa since 2003, sourced from contract growers spread over different climatic areas to manage risk and ensure continuous supply. Afrex is also investing in production units in order to assist their growers. Apart from the Far East, they supply clients in Europe and the UK, the Gulf States and Russia.
They have offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town, with packing facilities close to the airports to ensure that perishable products are flown out within six to eight hours, but always within a day.
Because their products are very sensitive, they have developed systems to maintain the cool chain, thus enabling them to deliver a high-quality product to clients around the world.
“We look forward to supplying new markets and to meet the challenges of adapting our products to these new markets in the Far East,” John concludes.
Visit Afrex South Africa at the South African pavilion in Hall 5/E02 at Asia Fruit Logistica, Lantau, Hong Kong.
For more information:
Flower packing software for traceability, reduced flower waste, and maximum flower processing efficiency.
New Herbox for temperature control during transit
Afrex South Africa enlarges their edible flower & packaging offering
Afrex South Africa, exporter of more than 80 varieties of unique and niche baby vegetables, edible flowers and leaves as well as fresh cut herbs, will be exhibiting their products at the Fruit Logistica trade show in Berlin from 5 to 7 February 2020, at Hall # 26 Stand D-19.
“Afrex South Africa will be launching two new products and we invite all interested parties to come and see the new products,” says John Kowarsky, co-owner of Afrex South Africa with Etienne Taitz.
The butterfly blue flower, or Clitoria ternatea (photos supplied by Afrex South Africa)
“Our plan is to launch, from the many edible flowers on offer, a very new edible flower, each day at the trade show at 10 o clock. Clitoria ternatea is better known as the blue butterfly pea flower. We will offer a taster and explain the nutritional benefits of this flower. Over the last few years, Afrex in conjunction with Carla Jenkins of Plantforum Nursery have grown this plant from seed, and now we are ready to export this flower to all our customers. We welcome all to visit our stand and enjoy seeing this new product and many others on display!”
Besides the blue butterfly pea flower, Afrex will also be launching a newly designed and very innovative carton called the Herbox (pictured right).
This carton will contain fresh cut herbs which improve the quality of the product considerably. The new package (patent pending) was designed by Amnon Zamir of Cargolite®, enabling the much-needed ventilation of the fresh cut herbs during the logistic chain of events.
From source to destination the new carton will minimize the natural increase in temperature and contribute greatly to maintaining the temperature of the product. Recent trials carried out in Israel and in Kenya have proved the advantages of this carton. John, Amnon and Etienne will gladly explain all of the benefits of the Herbox to all visiting the stand.
John Kowarsky and Etienne Taitz believe in the growth of the potential markets in Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia, the Gulf and all the new developing markets in the Far East, which are already very important markets for the company.
“We will therefore be displaying our full range of baby and micro vegetables, herbs, our edible flowers and leaves at the exhibition,” says John. He notes that the ‘edible flower’ product line is showing strong growth for the company, and Afrex South Africa will be expanding their range of edible flowers, offering exciting new products for all Afrex customers worldwide.
“The new innovative herb carton will also provide Afrex’s customers with fresh cut herbs and improve the logistic cool chain considerably, enabling a better product to be sold to the end customer,” says Etienne.
Afrex has been exporting perishable products from South Africa since 2003, sourced from contract growers spread over different climatic areas to manage risk and ensure continuous supply. Afrex is also investing in production units in order to assist their growers.
Afrex has offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town, with packing facilities close to the airports to ensure that perishable products are flown out within six to eight hours, but always within a day.
Mini-vegetables from the Afrex South Africa range
Because their products are very sensitive, they have developed systems to maintain the cold chain, thus enabling them to deliver a high-quality product to clients around the world.
“We look forward to supplying new markets and to meet the challenges of adapting our products to these new markets worldwide,” John concludes.
Visit Afrex Trading at Hall # 26 Stand D-19 Berlin Fruit Logistica.
For more information:
John Kowarsky & Etienne Taitz
Afrex - South Africa
National Agricultural Export Development Board
Rwanda opens Rwf 980 mln Horticulture Pack House
Last year, an up and coming farmer told Rwandan president Paul Kagame that in the previous season he lost Rwf800,000 (€765) due to lack of storage facilities. This affected the quality of his chili before it was to be exported to Europe.
The farmer, Mukeshimana, said the loss was due to lack of storage facility which was earlier communicated to Ministry of Agriculture to no avail. Right away, the president directed the Ministry of Agriculture to compensate the farmer.
Now, the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) has launched a ‘horticulture pack house’ worth Rwf980 million (€938,000) for grading, packing and protecting flowers, vegetables and fruits before they are exported to the international markets.
The ‘Horticulture pack house’ is the only public standard facility for handling fresh flowers, fruits, and vegetables certified by Hazard analysis and a critical control point (HACCP) in the country.
This ‘Packhouse’ is divided into three operating departments including a surface area of 500 m2 with 36 tables used in sorting vegetables and fruits before they are packed and put in the cold rooms. The surface area has the capacity to accommodate 150 daily workers who grade fruits and vegetables.
It also has four cold rooms with the capacity to keep flowers, vegetables and fruits fresh for four days before they are exported to the market in various countries. Rwanda exports vegetables and fruits to countries including, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Democratic Republic of Congo, China, among other countries.
Australia: Famous apple orchard to become flower farm
Peter Darley’s Daydawn Nashdale apple orchard has been sold and will be turned into a flower farm.
Daydawn is one of Orange’s most famous orchards, having been started by Mr Darley’s dad, Noel, about 70 years ago.
Mr Darley is retiring after the property was sold for $2 million last week.
The new buyer, Sydney flower grower and seller, Chris May of Mayfarm Flowers, will take out the 22,000 trees and replace them with greenhouses and fields of flowers with a “cellar door-like’’ public sales facility.
Read more at the Central Western Daily (David Fitzsimons)
ROP Introduces MA packaging for edible flowers
While the demand for edible flowers is on the increase, the challenge for its expansion remains with the limited post-harvest shelf life of this delicate product. Once harvested the perishable flower tissue starts to dehydrate compromising its appearance. Research also pointed out that its nutritional value, the antioxidant content rapidly decreases.
The varieties of edible flowers continuously expand, however among the most popular are the zucchini (Cucurbita pepo) blossoms, male or female. The bright yellow color, soft and delicate texture, slightly sweet flavor of zucchini flowers has made them a favorite ingredient in the U.S.A., Europe and Asia. The male flower is usually smaller in its overall size and it has a short stem and the female flower often has a young zucchini (baby zucchini) attached to it. These flowers can be eaten raw as a garnish or chopped and added to salads. Gourmet restaurants also serve it stuffed with herbs and cheeses, fried or baked until the delicate petals become crispy.
Researchers set the foundation for longer shelf-life and nutrition values retention
Several research studies conducted in recent years evaluated the effect of storage under controlled atmosphere (CA) on physicochemical parameters and antioxidant compounds contents of these flowers. Flowers were stored at 5° C under various Oxygen-Carbon dioxide-nitrogen combinations. Compared with the control (20% O2, 0% CO2 and 80% N2), the CA treatments showed better retention of various parameters related to freshness and delayed senescence. Stored under low O2 and high CO2 concentrations, thus reducing respiration rate, decreasing enzymatic activity and diminishing the changes associated with senescence, higher total sugars and soluble solids, less weight loss and higher amount of ascorbic acid, polyphenols and carotenoids were documented. The exposure to the beneficial gas combination was demonstrated to prolong postharvest life in squash flowers up to 16 days.
Turning theory into practice
Using these research findings and to the request of a renown edible flowers grower, Dr. Wentao Jia, ROP's polymer engineer together with her colleague, postharvest specialist Shay Zeltzer, initiated a set of lab and field trials aimed at engineering the film most suitable for developing those conditions which were reported to protect the freshness of flowers. Packaging that reduces respiration-rate and plant metabolism.
"We were requested to develop a packaging for packing of single female flower or two male flowers per packaging," says Dr. Jia. "The annual capacity expected to be packed dictated that the film developed should work on a horizontal flow-pack machine. With sustainability in mind, we were looking to engineer the lowest-gauge film possible that could still run smoothly and efficiently on the flow-pack machine. The small bio-mass packed presented a challenge of its own, adds Zeltzer. The existing films used by the industry are BOPP based that are laser perforated. We've learned that these could not allow for the building of the required beneficial gas composition inside the bag. It was clear that we'll have to stay away from the various perforation options as the natural respiration of such a small bio-mass will not be able to alter the atmosphere inside the bag."
The following chart presents the atmosphere created inside the bags made of the film developed by ROP (solid bars) vs. the commercial, laser-perforated, BOPP film (stripped bars). While the O2/CO2 composition inside the commercial bag was very close to the atmospheric conditions, the bag developed by ROP was shown to allow for reducing the O2 and increasing the CO2 to the values recommended by the academic research.
Freshness and quality parameters preserved
As expected the reduced respiration rate resulted in delayed manifestation of senescence-related phenomena. With the female flowers, within seven to nine days from packing, the flowers packed in the micro-perforated BOPP film became darker in color, indicative of an aging tissue; it developed water-soaked areas appeared as darker translucent patches on the petals, starting from the edges. Also, the overall presentation of the petals of these flowers looked wilted.
Fig. 1: Female zucchini flower 9 days after packing in ROP MA bag (left) and commercial BOPP micro-perforated bag (right). The flower on the right becomes darker and wilted indicative of an aging tissue. Senescence related phenomena are retarded in the flower on the left (ROP bag).
Male flower tested had an overall longer shelf life than the female flower. Differences in the development of the senescence-related phenomenon noted about 12 days after packing.
Fig. 2: Male zucchini flower 12 days after packing in ROP MA bag (left) and commercial BOPP micro-perforated bag (right). Wilting and darken color at the edges of the petals for the flower is indicative of advanced aging compare to the flower in ROP bag that is lighter in color showing no wilting.
The flowers were further kept in cold storage at 2° C for another 10 days when the differences between the conditions of the flowers in the two packagings tested were not questionable.
Fig. 3: Male zucchini flower 21 days after packing in ROP MA bag (left) and commercial BOPP micro-perforated bag (right). Complete disintegration of the flower tissue is observed with the flower packed in the commercial BOPP bag, while the flower in ROP bag is starting to show some aging indications at the edges of the petals.
Going commercial and next step
ROP's film for male and female zucchini flowers is already in commercial use since two months ago. Thousands of bags being shipped by cross Atlantic air-freight strengthens the confidence with the advantages of the packaging developed. "We're looking forward to expanding our line of products for the edible flowers category including rose petals, viola tri-color and nasturtium", concludes Zeltzer.