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Supplier assures avocados 'at right stage, time & price" with ripening technology
Installing remote monitoring software has saved a lot of time and hassle for fruit and vegetable marketer CropCorp, Rob Brookes, Sales & Marketing Manager for the company says.
"Now we don’t need to manually check every room seven days a week. We can walk away, check in remotely, and know that everything is OK and that the fruit will be at the right stage at the right time - and get the right price," he said.
CropCorp is an Australasian marketer, exporter and importer which supplies fresh fruit and vegetables to wholesalers and supermarkets in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and North America.
Avocados are one of the company’s most valuable food products, which it sources and supplies all year around. At most times, CropCorp has a significant investment tied up in the fruit which ripens and spoils quickly.
Preserving taste & profits
While the avocado can remain on the tree for months, once the stalk is removed, ripening is triggered. If ripening advances too far, the fruit softens quickly. This dramatically affects the shelf life, and results in lower returns for the company and leads to a diminished experience for the consumer.
If ripening can be arrested early, the natural process can be delayed until required, assuring predictable shelf life, quality and value, right the way along the supply chain to the consumer. As Rob Brookes says, it all starts with the consumer: "We want consumers to enjoy a really fresh, tasty avocado every time, and be confident about buying more than one each time."
Adopting technology early
CropCorp has been testing ripening technologies for a while now, according to Brookes. The earliest versions were pretty basic at the time.
In recent years, however, advances have enabled control of humidity and ethylene ripening gas, but not much more.
Scaling for growth Recently CropCorp embarked on an expansion, doubling its avocado ripening capacity to access new overseas markets. As a result, Brookes sought a better solution.
"We wanted to grow our avocado business and wanted more control and certainty over the ripening process, to ensure a uniform, quality product all year round", says Brookes.
Gaining control Brookes chose a single FreshView EC12 Ripening Controller to manage all his avocado ripening rooms, giving central visibility and control over a greater number of ripening parameters at any time.
With the EC12 Brookes can monitor many more parameters in the avocado rooms, and access real time as well as historical data, which he can use to further streamline processes.
While Brookes says he may be saving on consumables like ethylene gas, for him reducing running costs is not the major driver; it’s about adding value and gaining greater certainty and control.
For more information:
Tel: +61 7 3361 2000
Publication date: 11/1/2017
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