Dole Sunshine Company and Clarifruit unleash the power of AI to reduce fruit loss

Partnership across all fruit categories reinforces the Dole Promise towards zero fruit loss and commitment to sustainability.

As part of the Dole Promise to achieve zero fruit loss by 2025, Dole Sunshine Company (Dole) has embarked on an innovative commercial partnership with Clarifruit, which has developed a next-gen quality control (QC) platform for fruits and vegetables.

Clarifruit’s AI-powered QC software platform uses advanced computer-vision technology to automate fresh produce quality inspection and evaluation while analysing factors such as size, colour, stem colour or any visible defects. The platform also helps digitise and standardise the quality control process, giving the company accurate and high-quality real-time data, as well as actionable insights.

The association with Clarifruit began when Dole was setting up its Sunshine for All® (SFA) Fund, announced in February 2021. The US$2 million annual fund seeks to partner with young companies and start-ups to accelerate Dole’s adoption of innovation and technology and is open to applications from agri-tech start-ups around the world that will help Dole deliver on the Dole Promise.

“Clarifruit was selected for its proven track record in successfully operating its next-gen AI technologies in commercial settings, its multi-crop QC capabilities, and platform scalability,” said Barbara Guerpillon, head of Dole Ventures at Dole Sunshine Company. “Our collaboration with Clarifruit embodies the objective of the Dole Sunshine for All® Fund, and we hope that other agri-tech start-ups that are as committed to reducing food insecurity and food waste will also apply.”

In early 2021, Dole successfully concluded a pilot project with Clarifruit for its pineapple exports from the Philippines to six markets worldwide. The Clarifruit app is currently used at Dole’s fresh pineapple packing plants for pre-shipment inspection, as well as at the local markets for inspection upon arrival.

Elad Mardix, chief executive officer and co-founder of Clarifruit, said: “Clarifruit believes that digitisation and automation of QC processes are the future of agriculture. Dole is our first major client in Asia to adopt AI in its operations, and this partnership further supports our vision for all fresh produce QC to run on a single, standardised Clarifruit platform. Also, despite the pandemic and the need to deploy the solution across multiple markets and geographical distances, we were able to find incredible synergy thanks to our common ambition and ability to remotely implement our software.”

Since implementing the Clarifruit software, Dole has seen a more than twice the productivity increase and reduction in error-prone QC reports. In 2022, Dole plans to scale this technology to additional markets and fruit categories, including bananas, papayas, and avocados. This partnership will target a further 10% reduction in fruit loss within the next three years.

More information can be found at the Sunshine for All, and Dole Sunshine website.