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Potato fresh packers are finding that sorting machines solve many challenges

Running a potato fresh pack line involves keeping an eye on so many variables that it can seem like juggling – and now, because of COVID-19, there are more balls to keep in the air. Performing the seemingly impossible can become possible, however, when TOMRA Food provides a helping hand. TOMRA’s optical sorting machines, well known for sorting to high levels of accuracy with low levels of waste, also solve a wide range of pack line challenges which have intensified since the emergence of COVID-19.

COVID-19 EMPHASIZES THE NEEDS FOR QUALITY AND TRACEABILITY IN POTATO FRESH PACKING

Quality and traceability, two important requirements of potato fresh packing, are threatened by market disruptions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns have increased home-cooking and the popularity of fresh potatoes, packers may have been tempted to keep up with demand by sending greater quantities of potatoes down the line or setting lines to run at higher speed – but this makes quality control more difficult.

TOMRA Food and Ortofrutticola Parma

Installing TOMRA’s Sentinel II sorting machine has enabled the Bolognese company to select large quantities of potatoes – its flagship products – with great precision and minimal waste

NOW MORE THAN EVER, POTATO FRESH PACKERS NEED TO COMBINE HIGH PRODUCTIVITY WITH FLEXIBILITY

With fresh vegetable sales boosted by people cooking more at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, many potato fresh packers are stretched to capacity. Some are even turning away work because they are too busy to handle it. Other packhouses, however, have the capacity to spare but are unable to win new business. Two very different situations, but frequently explainable by the same reason: technical capabilities. Packers can no longer gain or retain big customers without having the technologies which enable them to operate with high productivity and flexibility.

FOR POTATO FRESH PACKERS, COVID-19 MEANS MORE BUSINESS BUT NEW CHALLENGES

One of the unforeseen consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic is the large increase in demand for fresh fruit and vegetables. This means that some potato fresh packers are now busier than ever, but not without a couple of challenges. The first is the pressure on packing lines to achieve greater throughputs without compromising product quality. The second is the need for more workers at a time when manual labor is especially scarce.

TOMRA FOOD PUBLISHES NEW E-BOOK FOR POTATO FRESH PACKERS

Free, downloadable publication addresses challenges intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic

FLANDRE POMME DE TERRE INVESTS IN A TOMRA FOOD SORTER TO KEEP PACE WITH ITS GROWTH

This is the story of a family farm in the North of France, handed down from father to sons some twenty years ago. Over two decades, the sons have earned a fine reputation in the washed potato business.

Why Resilience is a Must Have for the Frozen Potato Industry during COVID-19

COVID-19 is deeply reshaping our lives, both personally and professionally. Since its beginning, where I live in Bergamo, we have been confronted with something unprecedented, which has marked a line between how we had been living so far and how we will come out after it. Now we are gradually preparing for what will be our new normal and all the necessary changes that this will require. While reflecting on this, I found strong parallelism with the frozen potatoes industry: heavily hit, feeling the blow, but with unshaken willingness to come out of COVID-19 stronger than before. What will be the necessary changes that will help the industry accelerate in its recovery? How can we, as TOMRA, contribute? 

TOMRA FOOD APPOINTS POTATO EXPERT TO STRENGTHEN ITS GLOBAL SALES ORGANIZATION

TOMRA Food has appointed category expert Marco Colombo as Global Category Director Potatoes. In this role, he will strengthen the company’s relationship with the potato industry even further and consolidate its position as a thought leader in the sector.

Customer Testimonial: BS Cocinados, Spain

The new plant in Funes (Navarre), which produces ready-made Spanish Omelettes, is an ambitious project which will significantly increase production capacity at BS Cocinados, S.L. Cutting-edge technology is necessary to achieve the desired quality standards, which is why the company has purchased a second TOMRA 5B unit with the latest chassis developments.