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Robotization and automation are a must for the agricultural sector given labor shortage

At the beginning of February, the largest exhibition of the fruit and vegetable industry Fruit Logistica was held in Berlin. Experts from all over the world have gathered there to see numerous innovations: new varieties of fruits and vegetables, eco-friendly packaging, and production monitoring, writes SEEDS.

1994 participants from 87 countries joined the event. They placed their stands on an area of 112 000 sq. m. Ukrainian producers traditionally presented their stand with fruit and berry products.

The main topics of the exhibition included logistics, as well as the introduction of equipment and technologies in agriculture. These are not the whims of the farm owners, but forced steps, said Andriy Marushchak, commercial director of Van Dyke Technics, who was one of the participants in the international event.

“Today, the main issue in the world is the lack of labor in the agricultural sector. It gets worse and worse every year. So, the experts are doing everything possible to solve this problem. For example, they are trying to introduce robots on sorting lines, and optical sorting of fruits, berries, and vegetables,” says Andriy Marushchak.

Today, specialists are making every effort to minimize the impact of the human factor on work. And every year new developments are getting smarter.

According to Andriy Marushchak, at Fruit Logistica, he saw new equipment for storing products from partners from the Netherlands, and machines for packing vegetables in paper packaging, which is also a global trend.

“They improve their developments, focusing on the results of research conducted jointly with representatives of Wageningen University. For example, specialists are studying the effect of gas concentrations on the storage of fruits and berries,” adds the commercial director of Van Dyke Technics.

This year, Fruit Logistica showcased over thirty global innovations for the first time. The Carton Pack company has developed a container made of plastic obtained from ocean waste. Inkarta decided to use paper made from renewable raw materials and fully recyclable for packaging.

Fruit Logistica also presented a new variety of premium white strawberries, Florida Pearl. Organizers and participants of the exhibition paid considerable attention to organic products.

Another key topic for discussion was the difficult situation in the fresh produce market. The fruit and vegetable sector is rather complicated, the products are very sensitive to storage and delivery temperatures. In addition, refrigerated transport must be flexible and needs to be controlled: one break in transit can lead to damage to valuable cargo.

Another hot topic at Fruit Logistica was changing customer behavior, especially in Europe. Demand for fresh fruits and vegetables is growing around the world, and end-consumers are becoming more sustainable.

Consequently, sustainable development, which will create an uninterrupted cold chain, has been given special attention at Fruit Logistica, as well as the transparency of all cold chain business processes based on trust and cooperation.

“A visit to the Fruit Logistica exhibition is a must for those who understand how the global industry is developing and what technologies are used in the world,” Andriy Marushchak emphasized.

EastFruit

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