Italian cooperative Apofruit invested in a Compac InVision Total View cherry sorting platform in 2018 to enhance their ability to deliver consistent quality efficiently. The system was installed in time for the 2019 cherry season, which got to a terrible start with heavy rains that compromised the quality of the crop. With the InVision Total View platform, Apofruit was able to recover good fruit even from the poor lots it received in the early weeks, resulting in a positive outcome for the cooperative, which closed the difficult season profitably and was able to support its farmer members.
In 2018, Aprofruit invested in Compac’s InVision technology for their cherry processing line at their plant in Vignola and for sorting organic apricots, peaches, nectarines and citrus fruit at the plant in Scanzano Jonico. Both systems were supplied, installed and supported by Compac’s partner in Italy, ICOEL.
Apofruit’s decision to purchase the Compac technology was driven by two key challenges of the sector. The first one is meeting the very different requirements of the various types of Apofruit’s customers, which range from supermarket chains to smaller retailers. Flexibility and speed are key to success.
The second challenge derives from the fact that the bulk of the country’s cherry production comes from small farmers. The cooperative, which processes around 2,000 tons per year, receives a multitude of small lots of mixed quality. These are collected at its facilities where they undergo a water-cooling process, then shipped to the Vignola plant near Modena for grading, processing and packing. This fragmentation of the supply significantly adds to the complexity of managing the whole process from receiving, storage and processing, all the way to the final sale. It also means processing a supply of mixed quality to deliver a consistent product, which would be impossible without significant manual grading –resulting in additional labor costs.
The InVision Total View platform delivers accuracy of defect grading, and has the ability to grade nose cracks caused by rain, run bad lots faster and recover good fruit from these lots. That is how Compac’s system saved the season for Apofruit and its members, as Mr. Claudio Magnani, Apofruit Technical Director explains: “If I had to sum up the advantages of this platform in one sentence, I would say it is the consistency that would be difficult if not impossible to achieve with the human eye.”
Bruno Stravato, General Manager ICOEL, adds: “When our clients have to deal with fruit of low quality, with many defects, Compac’s InVision Total View platform enables them to work at their usual production speed while maintaining their high product quality levels. This is impossible with traditional methods, because the low quality of the fruit would require them to reduce the processing speed to enable their personnel to select the fruit manually.”