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Chris Komorek

BY CHRIS KOMOREK

@ckfruitnet

Compac up to the Covid-19 challenge

Installation of new grading and packing lines in Turkey and Uzbekistan completed despite global pandemic limiting international movement

Compac up to the Covid-19 challenge

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New Zealand-based Compac, part of the Tomra Food family, and its partners ICOEL and Sardas have deemed the most recent Turkish and Uzbekistan cherry season a resounding success, having been able to deliver full satisfaction to its customers despite the challenges posed by Covid-19.

Just as the global pandemic hit, Compac was preparing to ship and install three turnkey cherry grading and packing lines in Turkey and a fourth one in Uzbekistan.

In a release, the company said it managed to overcome the unprecedented situation with countries under lockdown, travel restrictions and disruptions to goods transport logistics to complete the four projects on schedule.

“This achievement required all the ingenuity of the teams involved in the installation, who were able to leverage Compac’s global supply chain and extreme operational flexibility,” the statement read. 

“The four lines, equipped with Compac’s InVision2 electronic grading platform, were up and running for the beginning of the cherry season and they performed to the respective customers’ satisfaction.”

With the new Compac grading and packing lines in place, Perla Fruit, Karaali, and Unifrutti in Turkey, and Uz-Segang in Uzbekistan deemed the season a resounding success, receiving positive feedback from their customers.

Roberto Ricci, Compac regional director EMENA, said Covid-19 had provided an unexpected level of challenges, with significant restrictions on the movement of people and material.

“In spite of the situation, we delivered in full and on time through careful planning of the logistics with our partner ICOEL, and we leveraged our global supply chain and logistics capabilities,” explained Ricci.

The Compac InVision2 equipment for the four projects was produced at Compac’s facility in New Zealand and at TOMRA Food’s manufacturing centre in Slovakia.

Mustafa Sakarya, senior director of Sardas, a Compac agent in Turkey, conducted all four installations, noting that while it was a difficult year, it was worthwhile given the gains.  

“We understood that we can manage the lack of people on site with a good remote support, and we proved that we can complete installations entirely remotely,” said Sakarya. 

“The success of this season also required a close partnership with the customers, who provided fast broadband connectivity in the packhouses.

“We asked them to set up cameras throughout the packhouse so we could follow them round the clock and see the progress on the mechanical and electronic installation,” he added.

A privately chartered flight, approved by the Uzbekistan government, allowed ICOEL technicians to enter the country and complete the project with respect to the lockdown and social distancing rules.

The efforts were rewarded when the facility was honoured with the official visit of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, on 5 June.

Overall, the Turkish and Uzbekistan cherry season began later than anticipated, with all four companies reporting superior results thanks to Compac’s technology.

“They received great feedback about the superior quality of their pack compared to other suppliers, coming both from their distributors and retailers as well as the quality inspectors who inspect the fruit at the packhouse before it enters the distribution chain,” explained Ricci.

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