The world-class packing facilities at the Norfolk Fruit Growers’ Association are nothing short of innovative.
The world-class packing facilities
The Association continually updates its packing equipment as new technology becomes available. We pack and offer for sale every conceivable type of package under the “Norfolk Brand” and “Golden Garden Brand” labels and also hold a franchise with the Ontario Apple Marketing Commission to pack under the “Orchard Crisp” label.
Six-lane optical-sizing pack line
Our facility houses a six-lane optical-sizing pack line featuring 18 outlets. Fruit can be sorted into a total of 18 different sizes and grades in a single run. This highly advanced sorting equipment relies on video cameras and computer technology to size the fruit and determine the percentage and intensity of colour on each apple. The line also boasts individual-fruit labelling equipment to meet any industry requirement.
In the early 2000’s an automated palletizer was added to enhance palletization in export and domestic markets for customer requirements.
In 2010, a complete pre-sort system was installed ahead of the packing line. This utilizes the latest technology in size, colour and external defect sorting on fruit prior to packing. This creates efficiencies in the orchard during harvest allowing most sorting to happen in the packhouse instead of in the field.
Weight, optical sizing, colour sorting
In 2012 the latest technology in packing was added that allowed weight and optical sizing, colour sorting and external defect sorting. Internal defect sorting was later added. With the installation of the packing line a washer was added for bins. Technology in box handling, closing and labeling is continually updated to meet industry standards and traceability requirements.
Robotic tray inserters
In 2019 the Association invested in robotic tray inserters to place the apples trays into boxes. This technology allows the Association to maintain production capacity. These apple-packing robots are the first of their kind.
The Norfolk Fruit Growers Association is proud of our world class facilities and will continue to evaluate new technology in packing to be at the forefront of developments. Contact us to learn more about how we can become your apple provider.