Geoffrey Thompson Holdings’ FruitCo in Mooroopna is set to process 650,000 bins of fruit annually by 2030. A $55M state-of-the-art sorting and packing facility built upon the 100-year-old site of the famed Ardmona Cannery, FruitCo uses automation and software developed and installed by multinational engineering company, MAF Roda Agrobotic.
With the ability to decrease processing costs to just 32c per kilogram, MAF’s integrated technology grades fruit into bins, to ensure the highest value usage using electronic sensors and highly sophisticated software.
Testing for strict market requirements, fruit is sorted according to weight, color, shape and sugar content as well as being analysed exhaustively for defects. Once categorised, fruit is directed into flumes, filling bins for storage.
Officially opened in January this year, and building to full capacity, FruitCo is expected to process 200,000 bins of fruit alone in its first 12 months, near doubling the 107,000 bins achieved in 2021 and will eventually incorporate three lines of fruit; apples, pears and stone fruit.