Compac, part of TOMRA Food, the leading provider of post-harvest solutions and services to the fresh produce industry, sponsored and participated in the World Avocado Congress 2019 in Medellín, Colombia. At the exhibition, it showcased the state-of-the-art sorting technologies at the heart of its avocado packhouse solutions: Spectrim, the most powerful optical sorting platform in the industry and Inspectra2 the next-generation NIR platform that analyzes the internal properties of the avocado to measure conditions such as dry matter content. Compac also held an exclusive briefing session on avocado packhouse technologies where it explained the game-changing benefits that its innovative solutions and collaborative approach can bring to packhouse operations.

Compac displayed at the World Avocado Congress its state-of-the-art sorting and grading technologies, which significantly improve the consistency and accuracy of the sorted product and reduce labor requirements.

It introduced to the Latin American market the next-generation Inspectra2 system, a game-changing innovation for its ability to grade produce internally, measuring conditions such as dry matter content, which is key to the avocado market because of its correlation to fruit storability. Inspectra2 consistently delivers high grading accuracy and has the added advantage of being easy to implement in packhouse operations. It uses Compac’s non-invasive, near-infrared (NIR) technology for analyzing the internal properties of the avocado, measuring conditions that are invisible externally. This enables packers to protect their brand ensuring that customers only receive high-quality produce. It also helps operators to optimize the maturity and supply chain routing based on the avocado’s internal quality. A further benefit is the significant reduction in waste, achieved through the recovery and packing of avocados from lower quality lots, by minimizing the good produce in the waste stream, and through a better understanding of maturity and eating quality.

Compac also showcased its Spectrim technology, the most powerful optical sorting platform on the market that provides an effective answer to the industry challenges of sorting produce, adding value to packed crops and reducing complexity of operation and labor requirements– all with increased efficiency. Its grading performance relies on superior lighting combined with high-quality optics, which generate images of the highest clarity of every individual avocado. The advanced software builds an accurate 3D model of each avocado and learning algorithms teach the system how to recognize and classify defects, simplifying detection and making it easy for the operator to create accurate pack grades. This future-proof solution has been designed to enable customers to continuously update their system hardware and software to stay at the cutting edge.

During the Congress, Compac also shared its expertise in an exclusive briefing session, the Compac Executive Breakfast, where it discussed the latest trends in the avocado sector and explained how it has been tackling its main challenges head-on, what is driving innovation in the industry, and the opportunities to leverage its state-of-the-art technologies to exploit the domestic and export markets. Customers Pedro Aguilar of Westfalia GM, and Alfredo Lira, CEO of Agricola Cerro Prieto, explained the benefits of working with Compac and how its technologies are key for their operations.

Bringing to Latin America the expertise developed in New Zealand’s advanced avocado sector

New Zealand’s avocado sector is a success story, having grown from a cottage industry to a highly competitive, value driven, growth industry. Compac, based in Auckland, New Zealand, has developed its 30 years of experience in designing and building avocado packhouse solutions in this fast-moving, dynamic environment. The result is the offering of industry-leading systems it provides to post-harvest operations across the world, enriched with the expertise it has acquired in a wide variety of facilities of all types and sizes.  

Compac has established a presence in various Latin American markets through associations with local post-harvest specialists: in Chile, Peru, Brazil, Colombia and Argentina with partner Sienz, and in Mexico with Rochin. This approach, which leverages a local partner in a best-of-breed model, enables Compac to meet the specific requirements of each country.

In Colombia, Compac entered the market in 2018 through its partnership with Agrosermaq, a company based in Medellín specialising in post-harvest operations. Its technologies immediately attracted the interest of packhouse operations, and it has already supplied multiple sorting and grading systems in the country. Among them was the project delivered to Westfalia Fruit Colombia for its plant in Sonsón, the largest and most advanced avocado processing plant in the country, which was inaugurated in January 2019.

Compac has been working collaboratively with New Zealand’s international development agency, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NTZE) to bring its cutting-edge solutions and advanced knowledge to the Latin American markets. In Colombia, with the agency’s support, it has been developing relationships with industry organisations such as Corpohass, the Hass Avocado growers and exporters association of Colombia, the Chambers of Commerce and local authorities. These activities have led to the visit of the Mayor of Manizales, capital of the Caldas department (Colombia’s second largest producer of Hass avocado), to the Compac development facility in a fact-finding mission organized with the support of New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and NZTE.

A personalized approach to the customer with solutions tailored to the market’s specific requirements

Compac approaches its relationship with its customers as a partnership aimed at designing a tailor-made solution that will meet their specific requirements. It offers sorting and grading solutions for post-harvest operations of all sizes – from large-scale plants like Westfalia’s Sonsón facility to small and medium operations that can grow alongside the company. To this end, it has developed configurations of its Compac Single Lane Sorter (SLS) for the Latin American markets, which offer an entry-level solution with lower start-up costs that provide a platform for the operation to grow and increase capacity to meet future demand. This solution complements the offering of Multi Lane Sorting (MLS) systems, which ensure the highest processing capacities for larger scale operations. All these systems offer the advanced Spectrim and Inspectra2 technologies to ensure the consistently high quality of product and optimize grading precision. Together with Compac’s high quality after sales service, these solutions enable operators to meet their post-harvest processing capacity requirements, minimize waste, and ensure their customers’ satisfaction.