Back in May 2019 our team based in Limpopo South Africa were eagerly awaiting brand new machinery to kit out our recently refurbished packhouse.

In need of an upgrade after standing for 40 years, our old packhouse, affectionately known as the ‘old lady’ required extensive modifications to bring it into the 21st century.

Striving for continual improvement, our now modern machinery enables us to streamline and effectively process the fruit harvested from our farms improving the colour, size and quality of our citrus.

‘Old lady’ renovated

With quality requirements becoming stricter and the market for SA citrus moving towards international exports, it was apparent that the ‘rope and roller’ system from the 1950’s installed in the Old Lady wasn’t fit for purpose.

Our Head of Farming SA Kobus Botha spoke about our new GREEFA SmartSort in a previously published podcast called ‘Our World-Class South African Packhouse’ saying, “With an up-to-date machine required, built for speed and higher volumes, we knew that the whole system had to change. Although the rope and roller system was a good machine for its time to pack Star Ruby grapefruit and Valencia oranges, we were aware that we needed to upgrade.

The whole line had to change due to the original integrated design, which causes a challenge when replacing it. On the old machine you had to remove green fruit by hand by sorting tables and now the GREEFA can do this, which saves time and space in the packhouse.”

Cutting edge technology

Now installed in our SA packhouse our 10 Lane- GREEFA SmartSort, is equipped with the latest software. Able to sort the fruit by external and internal quality, the integrated cameras allow you to spot progressive defects that aren’t visible to the naked eye.

Our GREEFA, wet-line and washer is served by a double in-feed to make sure that capacity of the system can be reached, including tippers, waste and pre-sorting, waxing and drying functions, all perfect for citrus fruit. We have added in-built complexities that improve our production and make the season shorter.

Kobus continued, “The machine is amazing and has so much potential, we learn everyday with it, we haven’t even touched 50% of the capabilities in my opinion.”

Our world-class packhouse

If you would like to learn more about our market-leading packhouse our Head of Technical Cristian was joined by Kobus and Wiekus Venter the Sales and Project Engineer at MED Automation on an unmissable episode of our podcast series, The Pod.

The Jupiter Group is an award-winning fresh produce grower with a simple vision – to be the most transparent company in fresh produce. With a year-round supply and innovative new variety development, Jupiter is hailed as one of the world’s leading fresh produce companies. Beyond their speciality in growing grape and citrus, Jupiter’s expertise also covers avocado, pineapple and kiwi in all formats and sizes across retail, wholesale, and food service businesses globally. Jupiter Group are different because they have digitised their supply chain and control a true seed to shelf process. The result? A consistent, transparent, trusted and traceable supply. On Jupiter’s own farms and those of their growing partners, the way they do business has British standards, global cultural heritage and unrivalled entrepreneurial spirit. Jupiter’s BRCGS AA rated prepared fruit facilities in the UK provide a range of pots, punnets and trays alongside co-branded products such as their Babybel® Light Cheese, Apple & Grapes snack pack. They have ranked consecutively for three years in the prestigious The Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 for International Growth, most recently at number 17.
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