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Equipment revolution in blueberry industry

“This represents a real revolution in the blueberry industry to us. In a couple of years, those without this technology will be left on the sidelines.”

That was the comment from Cristobal Duke, Managing Director of Collipulli (Chile), on UNITEC Blueberry Vision technology back at the end of 2016.

"Blueberry Vision technology from UNITEC was the first technology at an international level capable of inspecting 100% of the surface of each single fruit, both internally and externally, thus enabling accurate separation of the product for packing with respect to that presenting defects."

The ability to completely inspect both the outside and flesh of each single fruit introduced by UNITEC was the turning point towards a new frontier in blueberry quality selection.

Already in 2011, thanks to a relationship of trust with the market, continuous direct dialogue with companies (clients and otherwise) and the technical expertise acquired in more than 90 years of business, UNITEC was ahead of the curve, betting on the potential of blueberries, creating an electronic quality classification prototype, including the sorting stage, to respond to the emerging requirements of the market.

Today, 7 years on from that prototype, Unitec technologies for processing and quality classification dedicated to blueberries have reached important targets thanks to the experience acquired in the main blueberry markets: Latin America, North America, Europe, South Africa and all countries in general with great demand for gentleness and reliability in quality selection for this sought-after fruit.

"Blueberry Vision from UNITEC is specifically designed to meet the needs for greater efficiency of production in packing houses on the one hand and to preserve delicate and sought-after fruit like blueberries even in challenging weather and/or seasonal conditions on the other."

“Given the weather situation this year,” continues Cristobal Duke of Collipulli, “if we didn’t have UNITEC technology, the fruit would have been lost. Around 15% would have ended up frozen. This too is a great advantage: we can retrieve all the fruit provided to us by the growers, who at the end of the day are the ones who want the fruit to be exported.”

So saying, Cristobal Duke of Collipulli gives a positive verdict on UNITEC Blueberry Vision technology, capable of supporting growers, even in a year with challenging weather, like that of 2016 in Chile.

"Moreover, with UNITEC technology, the gentleness in fruit processing is always accompanied by extreme efficiency in production, in terms of increased kilos per hours worked per person, and a significant reduction in product processing and packing costs."

In 2017, Piotr Wisniewski, CEO of Polana Spolka, stated: “The UNITEC line is really gentle with the fruit, and we have the option of inspecting the fruit both externally and internally, and that’s very, very important, and I think that was the main factor that led us to choose this line. And all this without compromising productivity! Now we’re saving around 25% on labour, compared to last year. This means that there are 25% less staff on the line, who can therefore work in the fields and that was crucial this year, since we needed as many people as possible to harvest the fruit as quickly as possible, in light of the weather conditions.”

UNITEC has also designed and created innovations on all stages of product processing: from automatic feeding and cleaning the product as it enters to classifying the many internal and external quality parameters (size, colour, external skin defects, flesh defects, excess softness, presence of stalk, overripeness, withering/dehydration, bruising), and to final packing, which allows flexible, customisable division of the product according to the various reference markets.

In a few years, UNITEC has already installed scores of blueberry processing systems in various countries all around the world, satisfying some of the most important global players in the sector.

Thanks to the guaranteed quality level ensured by UNITEC technology, Packing Houses that choose Blueberry Vision can exponentially improve their competitiveness in the various markets in which they operate and in which they aim to operate in the future to expand their business.

Continuously offering fruits of consistent quality over time to customers and eliminating the scope for any complaints due to fruits that do not comply with the agreed quality standards prevents the consumer from ever feeling betrayed.

“With Blueberry Vision from Unitec, we want to try and get a better product arriving at the Asian and European markets, which are more profitable,” states Oscar De Blasis, General Manager of the Chilean company Merex. “In my opinion, thanks to Blueberry Vision we’re 3–4 years ahead in what will be the future of blueberries.”

De Blasis, of Merex, believes that thanks to Blueberry Vision from UNITEC, it’s finally possible to break into the most profitable markets, never taken into consideration before now.

Luis D’Andrea and Aduardo Pavon, Chief Executive Officer and Plant Manager respectively of Tierra de Arándanos in Argentina, have no doubt about it:

“We went with UNITEC because it has proved an innovative brand in this sector, and also for its great experience. UNITEC specialises in blueberry selection and Blueberry Vision technology is the most in demand and widespread at an international level in this sector. We’re convinced that with Unitec we’ll succeed in maintaining a long-term relationship with customers. Thanks to the high quality of the products on offer, customers have great confidence in us.”

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