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Tomra Food Unveils New Brand Strategy and Packing Technologies
Tove Andersen, president and CEO of Tomra Group (center left), and Michel Picandet, executive vice president and head of Tomra Food (center right), talk to visitors at Fruit Logistica.
This year’s edition of Fruit Logistica in Berlin on April 5–7 brought together over 40,000 trade visitors from 130 countries and more than 2,000 exhibitors from 87 countries to make connections and learn about recent developments in the produce sector. Among the exhibitors present was Norwegian multinational Tomra, which used the international event to announce its new brand strategy for its food division and showcase two of its newest technologies for produce sorting and packing.
“World Without Waste” and Brand Strategy
Several days prior to Fruit Logistica, Tomra celebrated its 50th anniversary. The company was founded in Norway on April 1, 1972, by two brothers who developed the first fully automated reverse vending machine in their family’s garage, thus marking the start of an entire industry for efficiently handling the return and recycling of deposit beverage containers. Over the last half century, the company has expanded to employ more than 4,600 people worldwide with annual sales in excess of 1 billion euros, providing advanced collection and sorting solutions across its four key sectors of food, collection, recycling and mining.
As part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, Tomra declared its future mission to “transform how we all obtain, use and reuse the planet’s resources to enable a world without waste.” According to Tove Andersen, the company’s president and CEO, “We live in a world that needs big transformation. We urgently need to improve sustainability, develop the circular economy, and make more efficient use of resources – challenges which TOMRA’s solutions can help address.”
During a press conference at Fruit Logistica on April 5, Tomra Food also unveiled its new brand strategy, which according to the company is intended to highlight the value it creates for customers and global food production, spotlight the ambition it shares with customers and create cohesion with previous mergers and acquisitions. The Tomra Food brand will now be accompanied by the tagline “Every Resource Counts”. Two businesses previously acquired by Tomra, BBC Technologies and Compac, will also now be brought under the Tomra Food brand as part of a new Fresh Food business area, while the division’s other operations will become part of a Processed Food business area.
Under the “Every Resource Counts” tagline, Tomra Food intends to continue to provide best-in-class post-harvest solutions for sustainable, safe and high-quality food production based on advanced technologies and analysis.
According to Michel Picandet, executive vice president and head of Tomra Food, “We are now presenting our brand in a way which recognizes how our lines of business and our customers are stronger together. Between us, we have the expertise to transform the food industry and lead the resource revolution, contributing to the sustainability agenda and helping to drive change for a better world. Keeping this perspective for the long term helps people better understand the actions needed in the short term.”
Tomra 5C Sorting Machine
One of the new solutions presented by Tomra Food for the first time at Fruit Logistica was the application of the Tomra 5C premium sorting machine to frozen vegetables. This system is intended to be placed between the individual quick freezing tunnel and packing station, enabling final checks for food safety and product quality. Prior to bagging, the sorter recognizes and removes any remaining foreign material, extraneous vegetable matter and difficult-to-detect defects such as stems and stalks, thus reducing the risks of product recalls and customer complaints.
First introduced in 2020 for dried fruit and nuts, the Tomra 5C system reportedly has several operational advantages, including improved efficiency and yields, easier operation, higher capacity and a more hygienic design for reduced cleaning time. The system combines high-resolution lasers and biometric signature identification technology to assess every object passing down the line for color, shape and biological characteristics, therefore allowing separation of “good” and “bad” materials based on their “fingerprint” as well as real-time improvements to line efficiency and the correct packing of mixed vegetables.
KETE16 Robotic Packing Machine
The second main technology to be showcased by Tomra Food at Fruit Logistica was KETE16, the company’s new robotic packing machine for punnets and clamshells. This system automates the transfer of punnets and clamshells of fruit into boxes, cases, crates and trays and has been developed to integrate seamlessly with the CURO16 filling machine, thus increasing efficiency and eliminating the need for manual case packing and an unnecessary contact point.
According to Paul Slupecki, head of global sales for Tomra Fresh Food, “The KETE16 is a versatile, high-capacity, end-of-line system with abilities the industry hasn’t seen before. No other robotic packing solution can accommodate a wide variety of pack designs at high speeds. This machine is flexible to punnet size, case size, and pack orientation, and makes it easy to change between different packs. This will reduce downtime, increase productivity, and deliver certainty in every pack.”
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