Iran also uses Italian technology. In September, Arya Sam Coldstore & Foods started processing its produce thanks to a sorter designed and installed by Futura. "Our challenge was to deliver the material and supervise assembly remotely in time to start the apple campaign and we managed it. The company is currently using one of our complete lines, which can process up to 15 tons/hour," explains Futura manager Omar Papi.
FreshPlaza talked about it with the manager of the Iranian company Daniel Arjomandi.
Freshplaza (FP): How many hectares of apple orchards do you cultivate and of which varieties?
Daniel Arjomandi (DA): Iran is a well-known apple producer with yearly harvests of 3/4 million tons depending on the conditions. The main varieties are Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Gala. Our orchards are distributed all over the country and represent 30% of our volumes, while the remaining 70% comes from other growers.
FP: The pandemic is a global problem: how did you manage to assemble the Futura machine?
DA: The production of the machine corresponded with the European lockdown in spring, but Futura proceeded as planned. As for the assembly, their technical manager who performed all tests in Italy and their Iranian local team located in Mashhad City trained our technicians and supervised assembly remotely.
FP: What are the advantages of using Futura technologies?
DA: Futura immediately understood our needs and, together, we developed our apple sorter, which can process up to 14-15 ton/h. Apple cultivation differs depending on the country: for example, Iran places the fruits in 20 kg baskets. Considering that fruits are extremely delicate, they are processed in channels filled with water. One of the advantages in the grader is the camera which helps us sort the apples based on their color, size and weight. We can thus sort different grades and colors and reach a wider range of markets. Another advantage is the fact that the line is entirely controlled by the central server.
As the system is monitored remotely, Futura is able to connect directly from its offices in Europe or Iran when we need assistance. We also decided to build a mezzanine to store all our types of packaging to feed packaging benches.
FP: How much are high-quality apples paid?
DA: Local prices vary a lot depending on supply, local demand and the exportability to the various markets.
FP: Why did you choose Futura?
DA: Futura, just like us, is a family business and we know the high-quality services provided by the company very well, as we made a previous purchase 10 years ago and also bought our kiwifruit sorting line from them last year. We upgrade to an international standard for our fruits in order to compete on the global market.