The new frontier of automated sorting concerns dates. Consumption is increasing all over the world and producers are getting equipped to sort the fruit not only based on weight and grade, but also on external quality. Futura is one of the few companies in Europe that can supply date sorters.
"We started manufacturing date sorters a few years ago and demand is growing. Israel was the first country to purchase the early electronic sorters and others more developed countries with higher labor costs such as the US followed," explains manager Omar Papi.
"Demand increases year after year from countries such as Jordan, the Arab Emirates and Tunisia. We divide the date world into two varieties: Medjool dates have a large grade (the average weight is 20 grams) while others are smaller at around 10 grams. Our sorters take this difference into consideration."
Dates have a high added value, so precise sorting is essential. The accuracy of Futura machines is important for our clients, as we are talking about high prices per kg.
"Our systems are completely tailor made according to our client needs. Requirements depend not only on capacity, but also on the needs of each country and product varieties. There are evolved countries that require higher performances especially when it comes to external quality, therefore systems must be equipped with tools to detect defects and humidity. In other countries, the low cost of labor means weight and diameter sorting is all they need. This in turn means we can meet the demands of all kinds of clients."
"We produce two models: the first grades the produce via small cups that weigh dates singularly and is mainly recommended for the Medjool variety. The other uses cameras for a more accurate sorting when it comes to quality and ripening level."
Date consumption is increasing all over the world, and of course there are peaks in demand. For example, in western countries, demand peaks before Christmas while, in Muslim countries, demand grows during the Ramadan.
Futura will illustrate its technologies during the Date Palm Festival Amman, in Jordan (stand 58 - October 16th-18th), in partnership with Golden Garden Engineering and Development.
It will also attend Agroworld between November 6th and 8th in Almaty, Kazakhstan (Hall 10, Stand 344) and YugAgro between November 19th and 22nd in Krasnodar, Russia (Stand B513).