NZ fresh produce automation leader breaks into UK market
New Zealand fresh produce automation leader breaks into UK market
Global Pac Technologies automated robotic apple packer is continuing to make strides in securing market share across the global packing market with the announcement of its first two installations in the UK market.
Fighting off stiff competition from globally recognized brands, Global Pac won contracts with UK heavyweights Adrian Scripps and Prime Produce and with the recent installation of their Aporo Produce Packers.
Jenkins Group Limited joined forces with US based Van Doren Sales Inc in 2018 to form Global Pac Technologies. The new JV has the global licence to distribute the Aporo technology, developed by Bay of Plenty technology company Robotics Plus.
"To have our first Aporo machines in Europe is a great leap forward for Global Pac,” says Cameron McInness, Director of Global Pac Technologies. “Both Adrian Scripps and Prime Produce are significant suppliers to UK retailers for domestic and imported apples, says McInness. “The Aporo packer was considered alongside other globally recognized brands and the Aporo came out on top.”
With packers already commercially operating in New Zealand and North America the leap across the Atlantic is just the latest in their move to lead the global step change on packing with robotics and follows a decade of research and commercial trials.
“As demand for produce continues to grow exponentially across the globe we need to continue to innovate in our delivery of cost effective and efficient packing solutions. The Aporo is proving a heavyweight in this field” says McInness.
The success sees Global Pac on the way to making Aporo the first choice for automating loose apple packing and followed a hunt by Adrian Scripps and Prime Produce for automation options for their packing operations driven by a focus on improving efficiency and labour availability.
“In Kent unemployment is 2%. Labour shortages at critical packing times are a very real and growing concern for the primary produce market globally,” says McInness. “After significant research the Aporo was chosen because of its robust design, small footprint and, most importantly, its simplicity of use for the end user,” says McInness.
The Aporo is described as delivering precision produce packaging and it’s not just replacing labour it’s optimizing the pack line.
“The Aporo delivers placed fruit, all day on every tray. We can achieve superb fruit handling speeds of up to 120 FPM even on irregularly placed trays and it’s an easy retrofit into existing lines. It’s reliable, affordable and fast” says McInness.
With the UK apple sector producing an estimated 220,000 tonnes annually it’s seen as an important European market by Global Pac and their partner Robotics Plus and Aporo is well placed to maximise opportunities.
“We’re pretty proud of our successes so far with the Aporo,” says McInness. “We searched all over the world for innovative solutions for the increasing challenges our horticulture clients face. To have found that technology right here in New Zealand and to now be taking it globally is pretty cool.”