“Sammeet”, the first workshop dedicated to the fruit and vegetable industry and relations with the major retail chains - organised by Sammogroup together with SACMI Imola – turned out to be quite a success. Held on Friday 4th April, the event was, in fact, attended by over 150 industry operators, sub-divided into representatives of fruit and vegetable producers and representatives of large-scale retail outlets, from all over Europe and beyond.
The debate, titled “Technology: cost or added value for the fruit and vegetable system?”, highlighted the importance of technology, a key component when it comes to sustaining competitiveness in the fruit and vegetable system. The event got under way with talks from the Managing Director of Sammogroup, Omar Papi, the Manager of SACMI’s Control Systems and Automation Division, Dario Beltrandi, and Professor Roberto Della Casa, the event moderator.
The first workshop session involved representatives from fruit and vegetable producers such as Gianni Amidei of Agrintesa, Giancarlo Ivo Battistini of Apofruit Italia, Giampaolo Nasi of Campofrigo, Mauro Battistini of Orogel Fresco and the Spaniards José Maria Morote of Molinense Producciones Naturales and José Rodriguez Carrascal of the Five Senses Group. All of them underlined the need to provide fruit and vegetable customers with quality while taking every possible precaution to contain ever-increasing costs.
The second “Sammeet” session, instead, offered retail representatives the chance to be heard. Talks were given by Roberto Fiammenghi of Coop Italia, Claudio Gamberini of Conad and, for the UK, Tim Espley and Andrew Sharp of Mack Multiples and Paul Fowler of Valefresh Limited. The speakers highlighted the key role played by technology in improving product stock management so as to ensure a more efficient response to frequent variations in demand (a growing trend in Great Britain); this ensures less product waste and, in keeping with the stated goals of fruit and vegetable distribution representatives, greater product quality.
Following the recently launched Sammo-Sacmi technical-commercial partnership, which focussed on the market launch of a line of sorters able to ensure the effective quality of fruit and vegetables via non-destructive analysis carried out by a NIR (Near Infra Red) system, several products were on display. These included a Sammo size grader with external defect vision system equipped with a NIR BOX for assessment of internal parameters (sugar content, ripeness and any defects), developed by Sacmi for fruits large and small. Next to this was a table for demonstration of the NIR CASE, an indispensable high-tech portable tool for non-destructive fruit quality control «from the field to the warehouse».