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Fresh produce business management
Fresh produce processing software
Fresh produce processing software delivers reduced waste and shrinkage, increased traceability and profit. Make fruit and vegetable packing easy, automatic paperwork generation, reduce administration cost.
Farmsoft is a full featured fresh produce processing software solutions. Delivering comprehensive management from the delivery of goods, through the entire storage, washing, sorting, grading, packing, processing, and sales, marketing, and dispatch of fresh produce. Farmsoft includes many optional modules from which clients can choose to build a perfect solution for their fresh produce processing enterprise. Access farmsoft from the cloud, or install on your local server. User your PC / Mac / iPhone/Android / tablet / industrial PDA to access farmsoft. Improving the traceability and reducing post harvest loss is the cornerstone of the farmsoft Packhouse solution. Farmsoft enforces good manufacturing practices to ensure minimal waste and maximum pack shed profit. Comprehensive quality control systems ensure quality testing is fully standardized and quality managers are alerted immediately of any significant quality deviations.
Fresh produce processing refers to the the conversion of one or more fresh produce inventory (for example fruit, vegetable, seafood, herbs, hop, flowers) into a value added product. The value added product may be simply a dried herb, or may be a more complex product such as a mixture of processed juices. Fruit and vegetable production and consumption in Asia and the Pacific region have shown a marked upward trend over the past several years. Rising consumer demand in the region has come with greater awareness of food safety issues and increased need for convenience and quality.
The fresh-cut produce sector has responded to these demands, and is currently at different stages of development across the region. Assuring the safety and quality of fresh-cut produce necessitates the selection of high quality horticultural produce for processing, and the implementation of good practice during processing operations in order to maintain produce quality and assure safety of the final product. A computerized management system is highly recommended for fresh produce processing to ensure accurate traceability and maximum food safety in the food manufacturing and processing space.
Food Chain Partnership
Agri is committed to FFB traceability. Traceability is the first step towards building a fully sustainable supply chain. Our mills are supplied by our own estates, plasma scheme smallholders and third party suppliers. Identifying supply from third party suppliers in Indonesia is challenging because of the complexity of the supply chain, comprising layers of dealers that operate between estate owners / farmers and the mills.
Collaboration lies at the heart of UNIVEG's Intelligent Traceability Strategy,” says Ben Horsbrugh, Director of Quality Management. As a company we believe that working in strategic partnerships with selected IT companies - and even with our competitors - produces the best and most cost-effective software solutions. We see the FRUIT LOGISTICA as an ideal opportunity to showcase both the food safety and traceability tools we are using and the strength of partnerships that lie behind them.
In some instances we have cold store inspections, to ensure that there were no progressive defects. Fruits will periodically have a quality inspector present with the loading of containers, to ensure that the produce is handled according to industry protocol. Our quality department will monitor the progress of the vessels and will request a quality report from the overseas (or local) client within 48 hours after arrival. The quality reports are then saved on our website, so each supplier is able to monitor his own arrival quality. They are notified by sms when a new report is available. Quality reports are also e-mailed or faxed to the suppliers on request.
It's also no secret that fewer students are enrolling in university level greenhouse grower programs, and that horticulture degree tracks have disappeared from many universities across the globe. With fewer candidates available who have formal horticultural training, especially in hydroponics — and some of those who ditch the ornamental and produce side of the industry for cannabis production — it can be a tough and slow process to fill such key positions. You may find yourself overpaying underqualified employees just to keep the wheels turning.
European Short Course on Fresh-cut Produce Processing
The 6th edition of the European Short Course on Fresh-cut Produce Processing will be held at the Akdeniz University in Antalya, Turkey, on October 23-25, 2013.
The intensive 3-day format will provide in-depth information on production, processing, packaging, distribution and quality assurance of fresh-cut fruit and vegetables. Through topic-related sessions, participants will have a great opportunity for state-of-the-art training with full interaction and associated networking events.
The market for fresh-cut produce in Europe is experiencing significant growth. Produce companies are looking for new ways to expand their businesses by adding fresh, nutritious, convenient and value-added produce products to their marketing mix.
"During the 3-day course all fundamental topics of fresh-cut production will be covered," says Mustafa Erkan of Akdeniz University, Coordinator of the Course, "including technological aspects of both well established and novel procedures."
The course is organized by the University of Akdeniz, Turkey, in cooperation with the University of Foggia, Italy, within the activities of the International Certificate on Postharvest Technology (ICPT).
"The Faculty for the program represents an international group of recognized experts including top scientists and academic professionals from the US and Europe," says Giancarlo Colelli of the University of Foggia, "which have significantly contributed to the vast success of this Course in the previous five editions in Italy, Spain, and Germany."
As for previous editions, the course will be limited to 100 participants and it will be handled on a first-come, first registered basis.
For more information visit the Course webpage at:
o click here to dowload course brochure.
Automating packing centers in the Netherlands popular topic
Cooperative Door is building a new packing and distribution center in the Netherlands’ Westland region. The strategic move to have a centralized processing facility to service the needs of the DOOR co-operative (including brands Prominent, Green Diamonds, Purple Pride and Sweet Point) allows DC Honderland to help facilitate the growth within the fresh produce market. The new packing center will be equipped with a high level of Viscon automation and is planned to be operational in 2020.
The new location alongside the A20 in The Netherlands’ Westland region will be equipped with the processing abilities to sort, weigh, package, label and palletise produce such as tomatoes of varying sorts, cucumbers, pointed peppers and eggplants.
Multiple processing and packing lines will be supplied which can process multiple order for multiple customers at once, making full use of the facilities capacity. Furthermore, the facility will be equipped with automated palletizing lines and industrial cleaning systems for crates. Such a high profile project will be complimented by the Viscon Logistics Control (VLC) software in order to track&trace and register all movements from supply of products through to the packing center.
Matrix storage system for 3000+ pallet positions
Viscon is also developing an entirely automated 3000+ pallet position storage system, type ‘Matrix’ to buffer incoming produce. In order to coordinate this storage capacity, a combination of lifts, shuttles and wireless satellites allow for flexibility when considering the vast quantity of products that need to be processed per day.
The ‘Matrix’ system spreads through several areas separated by walls, creating different climate control areas. Shuttles are able to move between these different zones order to provide flexibility during seasonal fluctuations and product call.
During production on the pack floor, on top of this storage system, product left overs and/or different quality products can be sent back to the storage system for later needs. Moreover, this same system will also be used for non-food items like multiple types of customer specific empty crates, boxes and packing materials. In fact the system will hold all materials that are needed for the production on the floor above and can be requested at any time.
Multiple Processing & Packing lines
An equal number of fresh produce processing lines relating to customer specific packaging requirements will be supplied to allow for multiple orders for multiple customers to be processed at once, making full use of the facilities capacity.
Such a high profile project will be complimented by the Viscon Logistics Control (VLC) soft- and hard-ware in order to track, trace and register all movements from supply of products through to the expedition.
Industrial cleaning for crates
Finally, two highly advanced yet compact washing and drying installations will be included to ensure that the top level of cleanliness is applied. Each washing installation will be equipped with a dual lane washing tunnel, each lane washing 1,600 crates per hour! Furthermore, tried and tested means to effectively kill Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV) – should it provide an issue – is incorporated into each washing machine along with the inclusion of paper filters to ensure that effective water management is applied. The installation is completed once the 6,400 crates per hour have passed through the respective double dryers.
New palletizing line at DC Tolpoort
DC Tolpoort’s recent decision to include a stand alone depalletizing and linked palletising system to ensure that staff do not have to encounter non-ergonomic actions associated with optimizing pallet heights.
As you can see in the movie, varying pallet heights need to be achieved based on a customer specific requirements. Incorporating this as a stand alone unit benefits the operations at DC Tolpoort as the more specific requirement will not interfere with the capacity requirements of their already existing automation.
For more information:
NewStar Fresh Foods invests in processing capabilities at Mexicali facility
NewStar Fresh Foods, shipper of iceless green onions in North America, announced plans to make a significant capital investment in its Estrella Nueva facility, located in Mexicali, Mexico. The company intends to add a variety of high-technology equipment, including mechanized optical sorters, precision slicers, and form-fill machinery.
“We are making this investment as part of our ongoing strategy to excel in our space with state of the art growing capability, processing expertise, and food safety excellence, which will support our entire Mexico infrastructure,” said NewStar owner and CEO Anthony Vasquez. “That focus has already led to a significant increase in demand from our customers looking for customized solutions utilizing our Mexican based production.”
The new equipment is designed to produce custom cuts and packs that meet the specific needs of today’s foodservice, food processing, manufacturing, and home meal kit companies. “This investment will help us achieve one of our strategic initiatives of delivering innovative, customized, and ‘in the box’ ingredient solutions to our customers at higher volumes, year-round, without sacrificing quality or shelf life,” added Mr. Vasquez.
Fresh produce industry suffers more primary production losses than in post-harvest
A leading international audit and consulting firms, Ernst & Young has found that there is more wastage in Australia's fresh produce primary production, than in the subsequent processing and packaging.
The company undertook research and assessment of relevant literature and case studies as part of Produce Marketing Association Australia-New Zealand's (PMA A-NZ) State of the Industry report, followed by an exploration of future trends that are shaping the supply chain with a focus on consumer behaviours. Six key supply chain performance drivers were uncovered; facilities, inventory management, transport, information and communication, workforce, and supply and demand.
“Poor performance of the supply chain can cause visibility and trust issues, which often makes it difficult to pinpoint the inefficiencies and areas to directly target investment for improvement," PMA A-NZ CEO Darren Keating said. “The PMA A-NZ State of the Industry Report aims to provide the fresh produce with the information to identify opportunities for improvement to ensure greater returns along the whole supply chain”.
Graphic source: PMA A-NZ State of the Industry Report 2020
A CSIRO study found that Australia loses at least an estimate of 18-22 per cent, with watermelons suffering the worst losses in the fruit category during the primary production stage and tomatoes in the vegetable category.
As far as the processing and packaging stage of the supply chain, wine grapes accounted for the highest volumes for fruit and there were significant post-harvest losses for potatoes in vegetables.
Graphic source: PMA A-NZ State of the Industry Report 2020
Mr Keating says due to globalisation, producers need to become more competitive to stay in the market, which means reducing the supply chain costs (55 per cent of total production costs) is important for profitability.
“A consistent theme identified in this report is that supply chains that have high levels of trust and transparency have greater opportunities for success," Mr Keating said. "Data sharing and the challenges that come with it are consistent. From the producer to the consumer there is a desire for more information."
The report also found that the longer a product stays in the supply chain, the more inputs are required for the final output. This decreases the productivity potential of the sector. It also identified that better planning is required by growers:
"Demand signals give an indication for supply required for harvest," the State of the Industry Report said. "An over-supply causes wastage whilst an under-supply can cause lost potential revenue. Due to costs involved, it may not be profitable for a crop to be harvested if the market value for the product if it is lower than expected. Grocery stores have buying power overproduce. Firms seek higher margins because of higher rates of spoilage, wastage and shrinkage, greater labour costs in preparation for sale and higher maintenance up to the sale of produce. These margins mean that producers see less profit."
It also identified other factors that impact supply chain efficiency, including processing, distribution, export regulation delays and slow processes, as well as consumer behaviour.
Fresh produce spends up to 50 per cent of its shelf-life in transit and the report identifies that quality is rated as number one for customer satisfaction with fruit and vegetables. Within that, appearance, taste and size and shape are the top three elements of quality.
“Consumers want access to high-quality locally-grown produce to experience the joy of fresh. The opportunities to make improvements along the supply chain will ensure consistent quality for consumers to enjoy,” Mr Keating said.
The report went onto detail six key trends that are continuing to shape the supply chain response. The first three focus on the personal consumer habits; especially consumption on the go, driven by the rise of snacking vegetables, home delivery services and meal preparation kits for time-poor consumers. Another is higher expectations from sophisticated consumers; increasingly, consumers are thinking about food – from how it is produced, what is in it, to where and when they eat it. Consumers are also becoming more health literate and personalising diets, e.g. genotype-based nutrition and DNA-based supplements.
The remaining factors relate to modernisation and social attitudes. Technology including robotics, blockchain and software create leaner supply chains that not only impact individual stages in the value chain but also help integrate them by tracking the progress from production to consumption. Consumers are demanding produce that is ethically sourced and sustainable, and effective waste management is becoming critical. While online grocery shopping will increase over the next decade, requiring innovative solutions to make sure that the logistical process is cost-effective.
For more information on the State of the Industry Report 2020: click here
Demand for Cambodian fruit and vegetables is growing
According to a study by French-based industry report search engine ReportLinker, Cambodia's fruit and vegetable market is trending up. This, in turn, provides an unparalleled opportunity for the kingdom’s growers, who often lack buyers for their produce.
In its study Cambodia Fruits and Vegetables Market – Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2020 - 2025), released last week, ReportLinker said the kingdom’s food and beverage market has grown significantly in recent years.
Urbanisation, tourism and economic growth in the kingdom pre-Covid-19 had fuelled growth in the fruit and vegetable market, drawing the attention of regional and international brands. The key processed food and beverage products made and consumed in Cambodia include fresh cut vegetables, dried vegetables, pickles, sauces, fruit juices and wine, said the study.
“Owing to the ongoing industrial developments and government support, foreign players are looking forward to establishing fruit processing companies in the country. For example, Coconut Palm Group Co Ltd, a leading tropical fruit juice manufacturer, plans to invest in coconut plantations and setup a factory in Cambodia to produce fruit juice in 2020.”
“Thus, the growing food processing industries, government support for the food processing industries, and export demand for fruit juices may stimulate the growth of the market studied. Bananas were the most prominently cultivated fruit in Cambodia. Additionally, the mango industry in the country became more resilient in recent years, with a rising adoption of improved production and supply chain practices.”
“Fruit-bearing vegetables, such as tomatoes, were the most widely cultivated vegetables in the country. On the other hand, beans held one of the most prominent shares in vegetable imports in 2019. Some of the major vegetable producing areas in Cambodia include Kandal, Kampong Cham, Siem Reap, and Kampot,” it said.
Sales manager at Kirirom Food Product Co Ltd, a mango processing factory, Mao Sothea, told The Post that Cambodia’s fruit exports have grown substantially in recent years. “Nowadays, my factory is doubling its production level during the pandemic. We have also increased mango purchases from farmers to up to 100 tonnes per day. Before the coronavirus spread, we’d buy just 60 tonnes of mangoes per day for processing.”
Last year, the kingdom exported 58,162 tonnes of fresh mango to six markets – Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, France, Russia and Hong Kong.
Hi-tech automated robotic apple packer launched
With the world facing up to feeding almost 10 billion people by 2050, a new joint venture, Global Pac Technologies, has launched a hi-tech automated robotic apple packer to help meet the global challenges of processing increasing quantities of fresh produce.
Global Pac also has a wider mandate to seek out new technologies that will assist the fresh produce processing industry worldwide.
New Zealand firm Jenkins Group Limited has joined forces with US-based Van Doren Sales, Inc., to sell the packer into the global market under a new joint venture GlobalPac Technologies. The first product, the Aporo packer was developed by New Zealand agritech business Robotics Plus.
Van Doren Sales President Bret Pittsinger says Global Pac has the ability to move quickly on solutions that could have global implications.
“The combined efforts and communication between our businesses will allow us to stay close to the customer and react quickly. There is a major opportunity to reduce some of the pressures on production for the global apple packing industry, and in other fresh fruit and produce sectors,”says Pittsinger.
He says they are seeing an incredible shift towards automated operations in the packhouse sector, as the industry is struggling to get the people to get fresh produce to market.
“Global Pac will be focusing on automation and data analytics platforms to help our clients worldwide,” says Pittsinger.
The market for fresh fruit alone has grown by almost four per cent on average in volume across the world in the past decade, according to data from Rabobank published earlier this year in Fresh Plaza. While the growth in relatively mature North American and European markets was about one per cent, the rest of the world experienced much stronger growth, mostly due to higher populations and increasing prosperity.
Cameron McInness, a Director of Jenkins Group, adds that an increasing number of countries are promoting the recommendations of the WHO, 5+ A Day and other organisations, to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.
“There’s a global shortage of workers within the horticultural and other food processing sectors,” he says. “Labour is at the core of it, whether it’s the availability, cost or reliability of workers in what can be very seasonal employment. These are often very repetitive jobs and new technology can help processors to redeploy their people to more satisfying and higher value jobs within the industry.”
The Aporo packer, which identifies and places the apples in their trays, has the ability to safely handle up to 120 fruit per minute, the equivalent of two people’s output. A number of Robotics Plus packers have already been installed, with more on the way, in commercial post-harvest operators in New Zealand and the US.
Van Doren Sales, a leading manufacturer of automated container and fruit handling equipment in the Northwest of the US, is a 70-year-old business. The company is headquartered in Washington State, which accounts for 66 percent of total US apple production of about 4.7 million tonnes annually.
Jenkins Group has a history going back 136 years in providing innovative end-to-end packaging and labeling solutions for the fresh produce industry. Jenkins Group subsidiaries have been licensed by Global Pac to distribute the technology in Australasia.
The two companies have had a working relationship for more than 20 years and McInness says the US company is recognised globally as the market leader in packhouse automation and was the logical partner.
“And like us, they are a family company, which takes a longterm view of investment. We are driven by our customers’ needs and not just trying to innovate for innovation’s sake.”
Pittsinger says the partnership was a natural decision for two companies with shared values and ethics that have worked side by side for decades. And aligning with Robotics Plus had provided the joint venture with access to a great cornerstone product that will serve many industries now and into the future.
“For Robotics Plus it is a great path to market with two companies that understand the markets they represent. For Jenkins and Van Doren Sales, we can accomplish much more by aligning our goals and coordinating efforts to develop solutions that can impact more than just our current customer base,” says Pittsinger.
“I believe we are in a unique position to predict many of the changing needs in the fresh produce industry. We have the ability to move quickly on solutions that could have global implications. The combined efforts and communication between our businesses will allow us to stay close to the customer and react quickly.”