As Chile’s cherry harvest ramps up, producers and packers are gaining the benefits of a new leading-edge AI solution, Spectre for Cherries S.A. Built specifically for the South American cherry industry, the technology is delivering critical cherry size and color data, earlier than ever before.
Hectre, the multi award-winning fruit technology company, developed Spectre for Cherries S.A. to cater for cherries in buckets that sit inside bins – a specific bin set up requirement of many South American cherry producers. Using just a standard phone, users take a photo of the bin and Spectre provides early size and color grade data, in seconds and can be used anywhere, in the field or the packhouse. A conveyor overhead camera option is also available.
Verfrut, Chile’s largest individual fruit grower, has more than 4,800 hectares of orchards in Chile, (2,150 hectares in cherries), and was one of the first cherry producers in South America to add Spectre for Cherries S.A. to their impressive operation.
“At Verfrut, we are very focused on quality, and innovation plays a key role in our success. Hectre is bringing new technology to our industry. We are already gaining access to large amounts of early cherry size and color data using the Spectre AI tool. This technology is bringing time savings, removing paperwork, and providing us with valuable data when we need it most, helping our teams to make the best commercial decisions for our company,” said Mariano Rodriguez, Executive Director at Verfrut.
Gesex and Olivar Export are also using Spectre for Cherries S.A., as are other producers across Chile and Argentina.
Chile is the largest cherry exporter in the world. Major exporters need to make many critical decisions along the supply chain. Make the wrong decision and you could miss sales opportunities, incur unnecessary costs and delays, and damage your reputation. Make the right decisions and you could be optimizing your labor, reducing your pack downtime, gaining optimal price for your fruit, and improving overall returns.
“We had many requests for our early size and color data by Chile’s cherry producers. It was exciting for us to invest further into Cherries AI for quality, to meet the needs of Chilean growers. Meaningful data supports better decision making, and the earlier you can access that data, the stronger your decision making can be. That’s one of the ways Hectre adds value to industry – we deliver valuable data, early, fast and simply. We have been extremely impressed with the innovation focus Verfrut and the Chile cherry industry bring to their operations, and we’re excited to be working alongside them,” stated Matty Blomfield, CEO and Co-founder of Hectre.
River Valley Fruit in Washington were early adopters of this technology. They reduced their downtime from 5 to 10 minutes per hour during packing, to basically zero. More details on their experience can be found here.
Shane McKinley, Director of Quality Control at Sage Fruit in Washington, says that the data from Hectre’s Spectre AI helps them to plan and reduce detrimental effects on their packing line. That flows on to a reduction in repack rates, fruit loss and packaging waste, and enables their team to successfully manage customer orders. They have been using the technology for several seasons now.