"This has been both an eventful and successful year for us. We've taken great strides toward improved, natural storage methods," says Van Amerongen's owner, Wim van den Berg. In 2020, this Dutch company introduced its Controlled Atmosphere (CA) method to more than 1.000 fruit storage cells. Just like the year before. "Our international partner network and good cooperation were critical. This year, these were key in reaching this goal. We're also very grateful and proud of our partners. We intend to continue in this good manner."
New developments in Dynamic CA (DCA)
This wasn't just an eventful sales year for Van Amerongen. There was also a lot of innovation happening. For example, the company spent a lot of time and attention on product development. They further developed the My Fruit control system as well as dynamic storage, or DCA. "This year, in South Africa, Pachman triumph and Trout pears were stored without the use of post-harvest substances. They were stored, using a DCA system, for eight months. This yielded a very good result. That bodes very well for safe, natural fruit preservation."
The demand for dynamic storage has been on the rise. These new developments have certainly contributed to that. DCA had already been approved for apple and pear storage. But it's used to store kiwis too. Van Amerongen recently completed a large project in New Zealand. There, thanks to DCA, more than 17.000 tons of kiwis can be dynamically stored. That ensures their quality will remain good for longer while being stored.
"The client was already using this method to store its kiwis. They were so pleased with the results; they commissioned us to expand the system. We've been less visible in that region for a while. But, we established an office in Australia. Ramzi and Chris run it. Things are now moving in the right direction. And we can offer our clients the service they need and expect," says Wim.
Product development and new markets
Van Amerongen's motto is 'We fight food waste'. That will remain so as part of the company's 2021's vision. Wim says new product development will continue. He hopes to bring a new product to the market soon. This product should make it easier to export fruit by ship, bridging greater distances at sea. But the company won't only develop new products. It also wants to focus on new, growing markets like:
- onion storage; where it's becoming increasingly important to maintain these products' quality without using chemicals.
- the growing demand for Van Amerongen's hand-on research systems. Operators and quality controllers can use these to do small-scale, onsite testing. They can monitor how well the fruit stores as well.
- further developing the My Fruit control system.
"This control system is already being updated in several important ways," says Van den Berg." These include making it possible to monitor and record information about how the fruit's quality changes during storage. That allows us to optimize storage protocols. Then you can store the fruit even more safely. We want to contribute to reducing quality and, so, food loss. We do so by selling these machines and measuring and control equipment."
Van Amerongen has appointed new people. In doing so, they want to start focusing more on the eastern hemisphere. "In areas where we see these techniques are needed. We can use our expertise and methods to advise growers. So, together, we try to come up with new solutions for better preservation and fairer prices for them," Wim concludes.