Happy days for the kiwi growers in Greece, as they’ve gotten approval for a long operational program. The EU was accepting applications from various producer organizations, and Zeus was one of the companies that took advantage.
Christina Manosis, export manager for Zeus, was delighted that her company got approved for the long-term project: “We have been approved for a 5 year operational program 2018-2022 by the EU, which will ensure investments worth 3.9 million euros, partly funded by the EU.
This program includes the supply of new high tech sorting machines for round fruits as well as 3D cameras for measuring external marks, shape and external color. It also includes, among others, total conversion of the harvest, meaning from 20kg to large bins. This investment also includes the supply of new machinery equipment in the sorting and packing process. Finally the program allows for the adoption of a totally new information- and WMS system that will simplify and codify all procedures followed from fruit receipt until final packing and shipping. We aim to apply zero paper procedures by having information input easy and digitally, having at the same time a full traceable safe product.”
On the left, Zeus' export manager Christina Manosis.
The investment is good news for the future, as Zeus is looking ahead to bring new varieties of their produce to the market: “We‘ve been running a Research & Development project for the development of new gold kiwi varieties, with all rights reserved by the company “NEW KIWIPLANT” based in Italy of which Zeus owns part of the company. We are now in the second phase, where we are now called to implement the research findings by establishing plots both in Greece and in Italy,” Manosis explains: “Zeus also runs an R&D program in grapes individually, where we are already testing varieties owned by IFG on multiple plots.”
This isn’t where the innovation at Zeus took a break, as they’ve been trying to improve their process by investing in software: “We have been developing a new information system in-house called ZEUSCORE which records and monitors all grower’s practices in the field. It is a cloud system that enables us to supervise and give proper guidance to all our growers in our producer organization. That way we have a large scale of any information we may need out of any single farm, which is fully digital. This system is fully customized according to Zeus's quality criteria and specifications and has been developed by Zeus IT team.” Manosis concludes.