A 34 station MARCO Yield Control System installed for Sussex based Eric Wall Nurseries Ltd is playing a crucial role at the company’s tomato production centre at Barnham near Chichester. Established in 1977, Eric Wall Ltd is still a family run business and, with almost 35 acres of glasshouse, this makes it one of the UK’s largest growers of tomatoes.
The accurate, manual packing of tomatoes presents a number of significant challenges, especially varieties that are packed on the vine. MARCO’s YCM system has significantly improved productivity in the Sussex pack house. To simplify the packing process, a simple light array on the LineMaster weighing scale shows the operator when the target weight is reached for each pack, without them having to consider the actual weight value.
We are passionate about the tomatoes we grow. There are five main varieties and we are seeing an increased demand for pre-packed product on the vine. The MARCO system has brought significant improvements to our pack house productivity and giveaway has been reduced. This is particularly important with the larger tomato varieties where giveaway can be significant if accurate controls are not implemented. Operator training is now very simple and we can monitor the performance of individual packers. In parallel the ‘e’ weighing system simplifies and reduces our statutory QA requirements. Overall this gives us increased pack house visibility and control, which is vital in today’s highly competitive fresh produce market place.
Chris Wall – MD