“Despite a global pandemic, worldwide demand for our Orchard Management and Fruit Sizing app continues to climb. In response, we’re expanding our team which will provide a further increase in our pace of innovation, so we can deliver even more solutions for fruit growers and packers,” states Matty Blomfield, CEO of Kiwi agritech company, Hectre.
The company, which was named a winner in the 2021 AgTech Breakthrough Awards, focuses on creating leading edge fruit technology which is simple to use – what they refer to as “clever simplicity” - making it easy for growers and packers to implement their tech and gain full benefit. Spectre, Hectre’s fruit sizing solution that works straight off an iPad and delivers fruit size estimations within seconds, is a prime example.
Adds Blomfield, “We’ve got a number of major innovations we’re looking to bring to market in 2022 as we support growers and packers to manage regulatory changes, improve their performance, increase traceability, and use Hectre for additional crop types.”
Caption: Hectre R&D team members working in the field at Cherri Global’s Roxburgh Orchard in NZ. One of the exciting innovations Hectre will bring to market in 2022, will be Spectre fruit sizing for cherries. Cherry growers and packers will be able to access early size data within seconds of the premium fruit being picked.
To support the pace of innovation Hectre is seeking, they’ve invested in a second R&D team, meaning they’ll have the strength of two talented R&D teams powering the Hectre engine.
One upside of the pandemic (at least there’s one!) has been the vast improvement of tools and systems to manage and access global teams. Hectre is taking advantage of this gain and building out their second team in Vietnam where there’s a wealth of highly qualified engineering and development talent available.
Blomfield says they will continue to place emphasis on hiring engineers to join Hectre, rather than outsourcing, ensuring their product team is highly invested in the horticulture industry, and delivering simplicity and practicality for growers.
There are huge benefits with establishing their second R&D team in Vietnam as it means Hectre will then have dual hemisphere teams. And that means while one Hectre R&D team is sleeping… the other team is hard at work creating technology for Hectre’s customers.
In the past year, Hectre have more than doubled their team to over 30 staff in response to demand. “Every single Hectre team member is super passionate about making an outstanding contribution and we’re grateful for the talent, dedication and care they bring to their work every day,” says Blomfield.