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Miatech Postharvest Solution makes its way to Kriegler Farms South Africa

Kriegler Farms combines two table grape production units set in a premium grape production area in the southern Hex River Valley. The mountains yield abundant water and the rich alluvial soils provide the nutrients, which are vital for the production of crisp sweet grapes.

CEO Johan Kriegler, the oldest son of Ben Kriegler, has been involved with the farming business since 1993. He deals with all aspects of the farming operation and is the driving force behind the Klipheuwel Fruit pre-packing division:

“The South African Grape Industry uses this slogan: "South Africa - preferred country for the world's best tasting grapes!" However, grapes with brown stems or bacteria, virus or fungi problems are simply not marketable, no matter how good they would taste. All over the world, every postharvest institution, university, scientist and researcher has and still mentions it: “The time delay between harvest and cooling with the right RH is detrimental to the quality of the fruit.”

We have been checking out which solutions are available on the market to prevent either dehydration damage or mold and fungi build-up. We tested a Miatech Room humidification unit and two Miatech Bio Turbo units on Flame seedless, and decided immediately with our management to order 3 more RH units and an extra Bio Turbo unit for the season as we could see what a difference this technology makes. UTE, the approved and authorized Postharvest Miatech Dealer for Southern Africa installed these units clean and neat and the service backup is great.

We now not only harvest on the coolest moments of the day, which we already did, we bring the grapes in lugs to our pre coolers and cool as soon as possible to 22 degrees with the right RH of 95%. The table grapes then get packed and whilst awaiting transport are again kept at the right temperature with the right RH. We then transport the pallets in an insulated and temperature regulated truck to the valley’s central cooling facility. Almost all farms use this central facility in the Valley. The feedback from the clients is phenomenal and we had no quality issues whatsoever this year both locally and internationally. We achieved green stems, no brown stems, no damaging infections of any kind at all and the shelf life of our product has increased. I received positive letters from some of the leading supermarkets to that effect. Furthermore our team was able to use my pre coolers to the best of their ability and was able to improve my production with 30% as we could get our packing operations fully operational from early morning, this saved on my labor budget. It is my best year ever since I’m active on the farm”.

And the sentiment of Johan is shared by the whole management team and their staff. “Quality put into appearance and shelf life, is what all farmers should be after (fruit- vegetable- and flower farmers). Any time and any interested farmer is welcome to talk to me on these post harvest solutions!” – shares Johan Kriegler.
 
Contact:
Johan Kriegler, CEO
Kriegler Farms
Tel: +27 23 357 9696

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