Partners in packing

The advantages of a turn-key solution

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Harvesting is only the beginning of fruit’s journey from tree to plate. To ensure quality, it is vital to have the right systems in place, especially when it comes to grading, packing, washing, bagging, palletising and tracing. Some companies develop their own capacity; others prefer to rely on a trusted partner. This is where MAF RODA RSA comes in.

As the 15th subsidiary of the MAF RODA Group, MAF RODA RSA was officially established in South Africa in 2010. This entity benefits from the involvement of the Group headquarter situated in the south-western production basin of France, since 1962 in grading machine business and from their development in early 80’s of the mechanical systems into electronic and automatic systems, with the birth of its first electronic graders.

South African major player

A spell of rapid growth has paved the way for the relocation of the MAF RODA RSA company to its own 535 m² property, currently under construction in Firgrove Industrial Park in the Western Cape.

MAF RODA RSA is supported by a dynamic network of more than 45 international agents and a workforce of more than 1000 employees.

With its six engineering and design departments working full time, the company is able to find and implement appropriate solutions to all its customers across the fruit and vegetable producing world regarding grading, packing, washing, bagging, palletising and traceability systems, which are fully manufactured in MAF RODA’s modern factories in Europe.

Grading for the best

“There are many solutions available on the market, but we are the only full turnkey supplier that designs and manufactures the entire system from infeed to palletisation in our own factories,” says MAF RODA RSA general manager Nelson da Silva.

In the scope of the group expertise, a unique working concept in “two stages” has been developed & promoted, and now fully adopted by major growers: this signifies pre-sizing or pre-sorting of the products, intermediate storage, single-product packing on demand.

This tool insures greater work flexibility, corresponding to the demands of large scale distribution. This approach provides a completely automated system to handle the fruit, from the orchard to final delivery.

High-end and reliable quality sorting

Since 1990’s, MAF RODA Group develop electronic sorting equipment for external and internal measurements on fruit and vegetables to improve the quality and uniformity of the product selection for day-to-day operations in post-harvest stations all around the world.

Among others, INSIGHT—an electronic internal measurement unit, has been developed to sort products such as citrus, apples, stone fruits, kiwis, melons, mangoes and tomatoes with analysing their sugar rate (BRIX index) and acidity level.

Thanks to INSIGHT use, the fruit producers can then provide consumers with consistently high-quality produce, resulting in increased demand, and meet buyers’ requirements for minimum average sugar contents of consignments. With the data analysis of all their production, they benefit as well from measuring agronomic performance which can help them in their effort to improve crop quality and yields.

Commitment spirit

Relationships are critical to success in the packaging and distribution business. The customer is always the partner in the journey to providing a truly unique and turn-key solution from the simplest to the most sophisticated challenge.

Having now close to 100 customers across South Africa, MAF RODA’s after-sales service team continues to grow, providing support even in the most isolated areas by physically visiting the facility or direct intervention by specialists on the customer’s site via telephone, modem or ADSL connecting systems.

The company’s researchers have specifically developed solutions to problems found particularly in the South African environment.

“Local conditions demanded that we develop blemish sorting systems capable of detecting defects unique to our South African environment such as sunburn on Pink Lady apples,” says da Silva.

“We are also proud of the fact that we have designed, manufactured, supplied and installed seven apple pre-sorting plants in the Western Cape,” he adds.

If this sounds financially daunting, it is comforting to note that the company is capable of leveraging the necessary muscle. “Yes, depending on the need, we facilitate access to foreign finance,” concludes da Silva.

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