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Concerning Outcomes the Pandemic May Bring
16
Aug
2020

Concerning Outcomes the Pandemic May Bring

Cherry growers throughout Victoria have been loaded with additional pressures due to coronavirus in the lead up to this year’s cherry season. With supply chain and international air freight being some of the most obvious issues faced, the upcoming season has been riddled with uncertainty from stricter travel regulations around international and state borders and the availability of picking and sorting staff.


JobKeeper payments don’t apply to most packers, meaning that finding the pickers and sorting staff needed to harvest and grade the crop is becoming a much greater concern. Not having enough people to work the harvest will be catastrophic to the industry. This risk is very real, with university students remaining overseas and backpackers and short stay visa tourists heading home, if they haven’t already departed months ago.

The cherry industry is heavily reliant on international workers. With the Government limiting international travel and locally available workers not incentivised to undertake manual jobs like cherry picking and sorting, it’s going to be a much tougher season than most.

There are few ways in which to minimise the impact of the pandemic on cherry growers in Victoria, as most already have efficient operations borne through running lean businesses. There may however be some unexpected gains to achieve.

Taking Staff off the Packing Line
GP Graders still have a number of customers using the old Ellips Standard Definition Cameras.  At their time of release, these electronics were the best available, however as technology has improved, there are substantial gains to be made by upgrading your grading electronics. Namely, gains in terms of removing packing staff off the line.

AirJet™ Cherry Vision, released last year, is providing cherry growers with a solution which lowers staff numbers during the upcoming cherry season.  AirJet™ Cherry Vision will be in use on more than 100 lanes of cherry machines this summer, a mix of completely new machinery and replacements of old Ellips electronics.  AirJet™ Cherry Vision will feature a new easy-to-use interface, making it very simple to use with less than a couple of hours training required.

This summer, GP Graders are also exhibiting a 3 angled camera version of the system to analyse the front and back sides of the cherry through its rotation.  This will be a simple add-on for any customer running AirJet™ Cherry Vision next year at a modest cost for additional cameras.

AirJet™ Cherry Vision is available now and we are still able to make an affordable upgrade to help you realise substantial labour reduction gains this year.

For more information get in touch with the team at GP Graders.