The Norfolk Fruit Growers Association maintains 17 acres (7.6 hectares) of property for our storage, office and retail-outlet facilities, and our buildings cover in excess of 3-1/2 acres (1.4 hectares). We have also set aside 5 acres (2 hectares) for future expansion and have installed our own system of roads as well as underground water, sewage, natural gas, electrical and telephone lines.
Our Storage Facilities
Our entire storage facilities presently exceed 3,500,000 cubic feet (102,000 cubic metres) with a huge capacity for cold, controlled-atmosphere, low-oxygen, common, and dry storage. Over the past several years, we have renovated all of our larger controlled-atmosphere (C.A.) rooms and their total number now stands at 48.
We can comfortably accommodate 160,000 bushels (3,050 metric tonnes) in our cold storage, 680,000 bushels (12,980 metric tonnes) in our controlled-atmosphere storage and 80,000 bushels in our common storage
Each of our storage rooms is connected to a computerized air-component and temperature-monitoring system to allow automatic control of its atmospheric conditions. We have also installed a hollow-fibre membrane nitrogen generator in each plant to establish the oxygen level in controlled-atmosphere storage, thus avoiding the introduction of hydrocarbons that would influence the production of ethylene, the fruit's natural ripening agent
Our Packing Operations
In 1993, a new six-lane optical-sizing pack line featuring 18 outlets was installed in our packing plant. Fruit can now 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 present. The line also boasts individual-fruit labelling equipment to meet any industry requirement.
In 1995, new carton-sealing equipment was installed on the pack line that can automatically close random-sized cartons. In 1997, two new computerized automatic bagging units were added to the packing operation. This gives us the capability to package fruit into tray packs, loose-fill cartons, totes and poly bags.
In 2005 automated bagging units and additional weighers were added to complete the bagging operation and centralized packing was installed. This enable case labelling to take place for carton traceability
In 2007 an automated carton accumulation and palletisation was installed to automate this process and decrease the time fruit was out of cold chain control. Case coding was enhanced to automate grower lot tracing.
In 2009 a mesh bagger was added to allow us to expand our packaging options too our customers.
In 2010 a complete pre-sort system was installed prior to the packing line. This utilized the latest technology in size, colour and external defect sorting on fruit prior to packing. This created efficiencies in the orchard during harvest allowing most sorting to happen in the packhouse.
In 2011 a rollstock bagger was installed on the Roda weigher enabling individual bag coding and versatility of pack sizes in polybags.
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.
The Norfolk Fruit Growers Association is proud of our world class facilities. Contact us to learn more about how we can become your apple provider.
Contact us to learn more about how we can become your apple provider.