Is it possible to manage quality levels of our products on field?

Let’s dive into the Zespri experience for Kiwi Gold  quality control

Few weeks ago, an interesting report about new IT technologies for quality control was published by Digital Innovation.

The Report highlights increasing relevance of new technologies in quality control processes of AgriFood companies, especially for latest stages like packaging and before-market selection

But we asked ourselves: is it possible to monitor quality standards of our products directly on field, before they reach processing or better, harvesting?

Let’s roll back: what does “quality” mean?

Have you ever noticed, while cruising among the fresh products aisles of your supermarket, that many products have some kind of mark or sticker? And when you have to choose, you’re automatically led to choose those marked products.

That mark, that so many products nowadays carry on, is not just for marketing purposes. Beyond those marks and stickers there are thousands and thousands of hours of lab analysis, production specifications products must be compliant with and the work of many people.  

So, for a product to gain that mark or sticker it has to go through a  quality chain, made of data, analysis and strict controls.

And such an important and delicate chain needs security and smart tools for managing data from field, in order to ensure that only the main part of products reaching processing and packaging stages are already compliant with high-quality standards.

Zespri, Bluleaf and the Kiwi Gold

During May 2020, while COVID19 was impacting every human activity, hence also agriculture, we were honored with a commitment from Zespri New Zealand, a leading company in Kiwi production.

We got the great opportunity to work alongside POs (Producer Organizations) technicians for Italy and France to co-design requested software on the powered by Bluleaf platform.

Based on Zespri requests, we build a quality control software tailored for Kiwi Gold (G3).

System developed includes a Cloud component for maturity clearance (release certificates for harvesting following the achievement of the required requisites) and a system for sampling and lab analysis automatization

Bluleaf quality management tool for Zespri enabled management of the whole 2020 campaign through following performance indicators:

15 pack houses and laboratories in Italy and France
1.600 maturity areas
more than 10.000 lab analysis processed on about 515,000 sampled fruits
over 2,000 maturity clearance certificates produced

The goal was extremely challenging, since we had to work on a tight schedule to complete our tasks before the incoming 2020 harvesting campaign, while matching New Zealand time zone and facing the pandemic.

The Zespri experience is a great success for us: we managed to build not just a wonderful business collaboration but also a great bond with Zespris’ people, enriching  ourselves with their knowledge, ideas and experience.

As stated by Sheila McCan-Morrison – Zespri’s Executive Officer Northern Hemisphere Supply – 

“There’s been a lot of extra pre-season work undertaken this year to develop new residue and clearance systems for both our European and Ansian operations as a results of the challenges with Zespri’s legacy Eurofins system. That’s been a true global effort undertaken by the ZGS, New Zealand technical and EPMO teams who worked around the clock with Bluleaf to establish a new system in Europe in time for the Week 36 maturity testing round” 

Also, thanks to the great effort our team provided during summer 2020, Bluleaf gained its spot as one of the few Zespri’s providers in Italy and Europe. 

But our work doesn’t end there, we’re currently working on a lot of new stuff for 2021!

This month  Carlota Cedillo Martin  – Zespri Crop Protection and Biosecurity Advisor joined us in Puglia, browse the gallery!

So, why just control our products?

Providing farmers and technicians with product compliance data during the whole cultivation stage means being able to identify any anomalies or wrong cultivation strategies and make the necessary changes so that an increased number of products can be fully compliant and get their mark!

Quality management tools such as Bluleaf can create a real competitive advantage for companies.

In fact they can not only improve product quality control strategies, but also reduce waste and ensure that products on our shelves comply with all requirements. standard.