BIBLIOTECA HORTICULTURA

BIBLIOTECA HORTICULTURA

Costa de Huelva: the biggest installation in Europe to process blueberries is UNITECCosta de Huelva: the biggest installation in Europe to process blueberries is UNITECCosta de Huelva: the biggest installation in Europe to process blueberries is UNITEC

Costa de Huelva: the biggest installation in Europe to process blueberries is UNITEC

In the land of blueberries, Blueberry Vision 2 makes the difference

"Why have we decided to buy a UNITEC line? Because, after having visited and seen all the existing ones in the market, this is the one which has offered us more reliability. [...] You can bet on tecnologies with these features, they are 100% reliable!"

By saying these words – “a 100% reliable” - Cristóbal J. Picón Regidor, President of the Andalusian Cooperative Costa De Huelva, has clarified the reason why he has chosen UNITEC Blueberry Vision 2 technology among all existing technologies in the market to process and sort his blueberries. He went on explaining how much he appreciates Blueberry Vision 2, which enabled the Cooperative to reach all the objectives they had set in a short time, even if they were challenging: We did the right thing in buying this line from UNITEC, because it has satisfied our expectations, even if they were very high!

Coophuelva is an Organization of Producers based in Lucena del Puerto, in the province of Huelva, a very well-known Andalusian area in the fruit and vegetable field. It is part of Onuba Fruit group, a leader in Europe for the growing and export of small fruit.

Coophuelva has relied on UNITEC, by buying 32-lanes installation - 2 sorters each of 16 lanes - equipped with Blueberry Vision 2 technology, and this made it become one of the biggest lines in the world to process and sort blueberries according to their quality. It is able to process around 3.000.000 fruits per hour, that is an average number that may vary according to fruit.

UNITEC Blueberry Vision 2 technology has literally changed the way Coophuelva used to process blueberries, helping the cooperative to solve several problems it was facing in the previous years and to achieve unexpected results so far.

Also Bartolomé Fernández, Coophuelva's Director, has been sincerely grateful towards Blueberry Vision 2 technology and has underlined the fact that the investment made in UNITEC technologies "does not have a real cost" since it "pays back" in a short time with the results it brings.

"We have moved from the major quality problems until last season, when customers refused our fruit several times, to this year, during which we haven’t had almost any complaint and customers of the chains are asking for the fruit of the cooperative Costa de Huelva. And this is what, in a very short time, not more than three years, will enable us to pay back our investments".

Mr Fernández has highlighted how, thanks to the consistent quality, the end product, and the Cooperative itself, has gained reliability in the eyes of the final Consumers.

"Thanks to the investment we have made on the technology we bought from UNITEC, we have seen, and the partners as well, an increase in reliability in front of the customers".

“Blueberries are 100% guaranteed” and thus the Brand Reputation has improved, thanks to reliable supplies.

José Rodriguez, Head of Maintenance at Coophuelva, shares his opinion:

"The advantage UNITEC lines offer us is that they enable us to sell blueberries of extremely high quality. While before one defected blueberry couldn not be detected, now, with UNITEC technology, all the packed blueberries are of good quality! [...]The final result we get with Blueberry Vision is a guaranteed success!"

Thanks to UNITEC technologies, the Cooperative's Brand Reputation has improved. All this was possible thanks to the great reliability and accuracy of Blueberry Vision 2, which sorts blueberries guaranteeing fruit consistency within each pack and quality consistency at each supply. Behind these results, there is really a lot of work. The kind of work that UNITEC Team undertakes every day in order to keep innovating and to be a step ahead as to guarantee tangible results of improvement to customers in their fruit processes.

Even though the blueberry processing and sorting sector is relatively young, UNITEC has been practising for a while already.

In fact, it has been the first company to innovate and implement technologies to sort the blueberries by their quality, being able to fully examine the whole fruit.

In 2013, thanks to its technical skills, 94 years of experience in the sector and a direct and continuous dialogue with the market, UNITEC has moved in advance and bet on the possibility to create excellent and consistent quality in time of this extremely healthy fruit. It has created a prototype to do the quality selection electronically and to give response to new market needs, which were requiring consistent quality and no overripe fruit.

Today, after 5 years since that prototype was created, UNITEC technologies to process and sort blueberries have reached important targets thanks to their experience gained in the main blueberries markets, as Latin America, North America, Europe and South Africa.

UNITEC Blueberry Vision 2 enables to examine the whole fruit, both internally and externally, in order to detect all possible defects: from a small overripe or soft area, to a small external peel defect. It sorts fruit according to several parameters: internal defects, external defects, shape defects, degree of softness, in addition to the usual size and color.

Moreover, thanks to its high level of automation, Blueberry Vision 2 enables to cut considerably labour costs and any complaints coming from possible human errors in the sorting, thus resulting in a great increase in efficiency of the fruit processes.

All this, as José Rodriguez explains, combines with high gentleness in the fruit handling and full respect of the natural characteristics of fruit:

"Regarding the line gentleness, the way product is handled is amazing! Since blueberries are dumped in the line, until they get out, they do not lose absolutely anything in terms of quality, nor the bloom. They get a special treatment!"

This competitive advantage achieved by Coophuelva, thanks to the use of UNITEC Blueberry Vision 2, has led final consumers to ask for their product and become loyal to their supplies.

This is how the Cooperative’s Director, BartoloméFernández, has concluded:

"Since we bought Unitec technologies for optical sorting of blueberries, the advantages have been immediate. All customers are asking for products which have been processed by this line because it is a guarantee of total quality. And this has led us to have more opportunities in business for the future".

For more information on UNITEC technologies: https://en.unitec-group.com/