02/11/2023 | Belgium

BIG Interview: Roberto Ricci chats about future challenges of fruit sorting businesses

When it comes to sorting, whether on a small-scale farm or in a large distribution center, everyone agrees that reducing the waste generated during the sorting process is paramount.


Sorting large volumes quickly and accurately can pose a significant challenge, especially during peak harvesting seasons. This is why many businesses are now shifting towards machine sorting.


In the same vein, meeting the specific preferences of various markets and customers can be a daunting task. Some customers may prefer organic produce, while others prioritize appearance.


To provide professional insight into the critical challenges faced by sorting technology manufacturers, Fructidor spoke with Roberto Ricci, TOMRA Fresh Food EMEA Regional Director.


TOMRA is one of the global leaders in optical sorting and grading in the food industry. The effectiveness of its solutions is the result of the company's research and development, decades of close work with packers and processors, which allowed it to understand the needs of its customers.


Fructidor: "Mr. Ricci, based on your experience, how the sorting business has been evolving in the last decade?"


Roberto Ricci: "Today, our customers demand more than just selecting the fruits – separating the bad from the good. It's about finding the right markets and destinations for each piece of fruit. That's why we've embraced the motto 'Every Source Counts.' With our technology, we are dedicated to making our customers' businesses more profitable and ensuring that the right fruit reaches the right customer. How do we achieve this? By investing more in advanced technologies to improve accuracy, specificity, and consistency in our work"


Fructidor: "From your prospective, what should sorting equipement manufacturers focus on to stay competitive in the future?"


Roberto Ricci: "The prevailing trend we're observing today is the pursuit of greater precision in fruit selection, as our customers seek to enhance profitability through cost savings and increased efficiency. The price of fruit isn't on the rise, so the only way for them to earn more is by reducing costs and/or increasing efficiency in their operation, which our technology accomplishes by automating manual labor. Additionally, our technology offers superior throughput compared to human sorting, significantly reducing claims from supermarket chains because customers receive the product they expect. Moreover, our technology facilitates traceability of the fruit, providing customers with vital information about the product. The magic of our system lies in transforming fruit from raw material into a finished product."


Fructidor: "And what about TOMRA, what is its move towards growing its presence within the industry?"


Roberto Ricci: "Last year, we decided to change the way we operate in the EMEA market, having a direct interaction with our customers instead of working through partners and establishing a direct presence in the region for Sales and Service. We are proud to announce that our new hub in Valencia – Spain is open and fully operational since last August 2023 for sales and service in Spain to directly engage with our customers."




If you want to upgrade to TOMRA's sorting solutions, send your inquiry.





© Copyright 2011 - Fructidor International - All rights reserved.