"The very dry and then very wet conditions during the harvest in Northern Europe (France, United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany) had consequences on the quality of the potatoes," says Luc Deroulers, manager of Eurocelp. The company offers an automated tool to control the quality of potatoes. Its customers send samples or install the equipment directly in their laboratory. “They are looking for precision, speed and repeatability.”
“The closure of restaurants has made things very difficult for processing plants, which are only honoring their contracts. The packers who are operating as they normally do need to know what they are going to get into their factory as soon as possible. Despite this year being difficult, they do not hesitate to invest in our system,” says Luc. “Things are going great in terms of purchasing, production and sales. In 6 months, we have sold as many installations as during the whole of last year, particularly in Spain. Since the qualities in France are average and the potatoes need to be transported over a long distance, the costs are very high. For this reason, it is essential to know very quickly if the quality is at the desired level.”
"Since industrial agents are only working with their contracts, all producers with any additional productions have to try selling them in other markets. Exports in France are very slow, with many quality problems. However, prices are not falling." Luc says that despite the difficult conditions at the moment, those European growers offering good quality are profiting from their productions.
Eurocelp was created 8 years ago and has developed algorithms that use deep learning to recognize different defects in the product's appearance. They have numerous on-going projects, such as a cooperation with Arvalis on automated germ detection and a specific system for the recognition of internal potato defects. Eurocelp will move in 2021 to have more space for machine building.
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