Adapting to the new normal

“We always want to be close to the grower”

As the UK market emerges from the pandemic, growers everywhere  will be assessing the combined impact that Covid and Brexit have had on their customer base. A changing marketplace is naturally ripe for those willing to innovate and one place to start is the use of flexible and natural Controlled Atmosphere (CA) modules.

French firm Janny MT has been supplying its CA modules to growers around the world since 2009. More than 100,000 of its modules are currently being used by customers across 35 countries, including the UK. Export Development Manager Céline Kuentz can therefore point  to a proven track record for her company’s products, but she also believes that changing market conditions in the UK are making Janny MT relevant to an even wider group of clients.

“Growers around the UK are looking for ways to maximise the value of their crop by meeting the exacting requirements of a customer base that’s evolving with the post-Covid and post-Brexit British consumer,” she says. “We feel a big evolution is happening in the grower marketplace. People definitely want more local product in England and growers are starting to adapt to the new, shorter channels of distribution that are opening up to them,” Céline adds.

To do this, growers can add more flexibility into their storage regimes, specifically by becoming more independent and storing more product themselves. “Many small or medium sized growers do not have the volume to justify a large investment in their own CA storage room, but they have their own cold store,” she explains.

The Janny MT effect
Janny MT facilitates the natural extension of the shelf life of a wide  range of fruits, vegetables, flowers and mushrooms. Each 610H controlled atmosphere module is composed of a Tiempo Cap lid and a 610-litre bin with 3 skids. When the lid is clipped onto each bin filled with product, the CA moderates the product’s breathing and the tight seal maintains the humidity. Selective permeability membranes stabilise the Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide levels between 1% and 5%, further increasing the potential duration of storage. The only difference in the way each module is used is the number of membranes that are opened or closed as the storage regime adapts to each specific product.

Céline says: “Every grower is asking the same question – how can I make more money out of what I have? In the past, the answer has usually been that you need to have more land to expand. But sometimes that’s not possible, so how about making more money out of the land you already own and the crops you already grow on it?

“Using our system, any grower with a cold room can achieve the same results as a CA store would for a proportion of their crop, which they can then sell direct to market. Typically, our customers will sell between 10% and 30% of their crop this way. Often in the vegetable business, for example, 10% to 50% of the crop is wasted because historically it has been less efficient to pick it than leave it in the field, so immediately you can see what a difference our system can make.

“What we often see with short-season products like cherries and  asparagus is that growers are unable to sell their product quickly at the peak of the season and this also contributes to there being higher  levels of waste than are necessary. Our modules can add weeks to the life of the product without any loss of weight or nutritional value, giving growers the flexibility to hold product back and then sell it into the market at the right time for them and their customers, in order to maximise efficiency, crop usage and eventually profit.

“So they are optimising quality and the return on their crop and reducing waste in a totally natural way –  all of these are big wins.”

UK distributor
Covid has made travelling to the UK much trickier of course, and Janny MT has therefore appointed a distributor – Dejex in Spalding. “We always want to be close to the grower,” says Céline. “We know  how important it is to be able to visit growers, give them the right advice and to support them through this transitional period for the industry.”

“The return on investment is rapid,” she adds. “Like many things, the initial outlay can seem a little risky, but the system delivers consistent quality and allows growers to think and work differently. There is obviously a benefit from being able to serve customers with top quality fresh produce for a longer period each year, because they will always prefer to buy better quality product. We have proved around the world that Janny MT can also improve margins and add value to every grower’s bottom line. The flexibility of our solution allows packhouses to benefit from Janny MT installations too.”

For more information:
Céline Kuentz
Janny MT
Tel: +33 (0) 

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