Empaque Don Jorge I (EDJI) opened last week for the season. EDJI, the largest hydrothermal packer in Latin America, is located in the hometown of the Crespo Organic and RCF brands, which belong to the Crespo family group.
The packer was originally built by Roberto Crespo Fitch in the early 1970s and it was recently renovated by Roberto's sons, Malu, Roberto, Jorge, and Jose Angel, who currently run the family farming business (The Crespo Group).
All updates were designed to improve efficiency, results, quality, and the workers' working conditions. This season brings a new appreciation for better use of space, as COVID-19 has complicated packaging operations.
The packinghouse's 100,000 square foot space was reorganized and now includes an additional packaging line. As a result, the company now has a total of 7 lines that it uses to pack more than 14 different labels for producers throughout Mexico, and for some of the largest importers of conventional mangoes in the US. One of the packaging lines is dedicated full time to the Crespo Organic brand, and there is a specific section dedicated exclusively to the packaging of untreated Canadian exports. The plant has a new hydrothermal tank bringing the total to 11 stainless steel tanks, which allows simultaneously treating more than 64,000 kg of fresh mangoes with hot water.
The packaging season begins with new state-of-the-art cooling equipment and cold chain systems, and a vastly improved and expanded cold storage volume, with capacity for an additional 4 trucks in pre-cooling and post-cooling facilities.
Despite the complexities of the COVID-19, and the social distancing and safety protocols, the facility expects to achieve higher results than in previous seasons. To achieve this, new high-tech, efficient, stainless steel, and worker-friendly machines were designed: washing machines, sorters, polishers, conveyors, and packaging lines throughout the space. Grupo Crespo projects that it will have considerable packaging capacities during the height of the pandemic and that they will increase significantly as distancing measures dissipate.
EDJI aims to process at full capacity with 14 trucks per day within a few weeks. Optimizations not only improve efficiency and make work easier, but they also help control costs. This is especially important as the market uncertainties continue to increase.
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