This year, Romanian blueberry specialist MerryBerry completed the installation of a Maf Roda sorting and packing line, with a 16-lane category sorter and automatic palletiser, a ULMA tray sealer and a metal detector. The line cost approximately €2m, according to the company’s sales director Radu Niculescu.
“We also received the IFS Food v7 basic certificate for our packhouse,” he says. “This new line is the biggest and most advanced sorting line available in Romania and is similar to those running in Peru, Chile, Spain and the Netherlands. Now we can sort our fruits extremely accurately, based on size, firmness, Brix and external and interior defects.”
According to Niculescu, the addition of the tray sealer marks a positive step for the environment. “This machine is a big step forward in our battle to reduce the use of plastic,” he says. “As a result, we've cut our use of plastic by 25-30 per cent.”
MerryBerry is also looking to extend its lineup not only in the fresh market but also in the processed market. Last November, the company launched new organic blueberry jams in six flavours (blueberry, vanilla, elderberry, cinnamon, hot pepper and ginger), available in two sizes: 230g and 350g.
“We've also launched organic blueberry juices made exclusively from MerryBerry’s 100 per cent organic blueberries (Duke and Legacy), with no additional sugar,” he says. “Two bottle sizes are available: 350ml and 750ml. The feedback from the domestic market has been so good that we have decided to start offering them abroad. We’re looking for reliable partners in the UK, Scandinavian, German and Swiss markets.”