Last week, South African growers and packhouse managers were invited to attend the official launch of the Reemoon’s new four-lane sorting machine at the Alesia Farm, a grower and packer of citrus fruit.
Interested parties from across the country travelled to Letsitele in Limpopo to attend this event. Alesia Farm, known as Alesia Boerdery, grows Lemons, Valencia oranges and has also introduced mandarins. The packhouse also processes packaging orders of neighbouring orchards.
Pierneef Smit, Reemoon’s country manager in South Africa, organized the event: “The demo has been well attended with some farmers travelling over 800km to see the sizer. We received plenty of positive responses after we showed the mechanical side as well as the software of the new sorting machine. During the day we split up the visitors into smaller groups to be able to give more detailed explanations of the machine’s working.”
“What impressed visitors the most was the ease of setting up the sizer to do various different functions. We even received the comment from one of the packhouse manager that our machine is one of the most user-friendly sizers available on the market.”
The four-lane optical sorting machine is equipped with German-made high speed cameras. The machines sorts according to diameter, colour, shape and blemishes.
Reemoon has recently opened an office in Tzaneen and has brought in all spare parts to South Africa. In addition, the company has started training new engineers and salespeople. “Reliability and responsiveness is the key. Reemoon has been training local technicians in South Africa to respond to any problem that might occur with the machines. Our pledge is that we can be onsite in the first two to three hours if a problem ever occurs. One of the main reasons why Reemoon has grown so quickly in China is the company’s speed of after-service and responsiveness. Our growth is largely driven by word of mouth.”
Sizing in order to optimize supply
“A major reason for Alesia Farm to have installed the sizer is the importance of sizing by grade in order to meet different international demand. For markets in the Far East, premium fruit with no blemishes is preferred. Class 1 citrus is send to Europe and class 2 to other markets globally. When sorting is done by hand, error margins are substantially larger then when done by machine. In addition, also in South Africa, labour costs are quickly rising.”
“We did not expect demand for our machines to materialize so quickly. We have another seven orders lined up for machines that will be installed later this year. In addition, in 2018 we have secured an additional eight orders. With the feedback after last week’s launch event we expect more orders to materialize for the 2018 season.”