AFL adds high-tech dimension

The world’s leading fresh produce conference and networking events
Carl Collen

BY CARL COLLEN

AFL adds high-tech dimension

Smart horticulture Asia will explore the impact of the digital revolution on the fresh produce business at Asia Fruit Logistica

AFL adds high-tech dimension

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Asia Fruit Logistica will feature a hi-tech dimension this year with Smart Horticulture Asia taking place on the trade show-floor and a strong contingent of leading technology companies exhibiting at the Hong Kong event.

Smart Horticulture Asia will form part of Hall Forum Two, taking place each morning from 6-8 September alongside Cool Logistics Asia, which runs in the afternoons.

Smart Horticulture Asia – the forum for information management, standards and technology – will explore data management at different stages of the supply chain.

Day One focuses on data-based growing: how does data management change growing? Allison Kopf, CEO and founder of New York-based Agrilyst, dubbed the 'Google Analytics for Urban Farms', will discuss her vision for data-driven horticulture while Professor Jasper den Besten of the HAS University of Applied Sciences will provide an update on developments in Controlled Environment Agriculture such as vertical farming.

Data-driven product is the focus for Day Two: what is the impact of data management on marketing and product? Tony Newling of Microsoft Singapore will explain how the digital world brings fresh opportunities for farmers to make a direct connection to customers. Earlier this year, major global seed breeder Rijk Zwaan opened its ‘Retail Center’ in Berlin where the behaviour of consumers is monitored in real-time. The company’s Jörg Werner will present the first results of this initiative in using smart technology.

Day Three turns the spotlight on the data-driven supply chain: what does the supply chain of the future look like after the digital revolution? Ron Lemaire, president of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, will discuss how new and disruptive technologies will change the fresh produce supply chain in the coming years. Cindy Yin of GS1 Hong Kong Fresh will explain the key role that that data performs in optimizing supply chain efficiency when it comes to food loss and waste. Finally, Emerson’s Gerd Uitdewilligen will talk about data loggers, which are already in use in the fresh supply chain. New printing technologies make it possible to print sensors on labels. This innovation will make it possible to equip every trade-unit with a sensor. But is there a business case?

In addition to the information on high-tech solutions at Smart Horticulture Asia, visitors will be able to take in a range of innovative technologies among the exhibitors.

New Zealand-based Compac, exhibiting with its new owners Tomra for the first time, will showcase optical sorting platform Spectrim, including the upgrade to version 2 with increased functionality for citrus clear-rot detection.

Italian-headquartered firm Unitec, which designs and develops sorting and packing technologies covering more than 35 types of fresh fruit and vegetables, will also be exhibiting once again at Asia Fruit Logistica. Unitec president Angelo Benedetti says the company will place emphasis on quality selection and classification technologies for processing fruits that are greatly appreciated by Asian consumers.

Emerson Cargo Solutions, recently formed from the acquisitions of PakSense and Locus Traxx, will be exhibiting its products, which monitor all segments of the cold chain. And produce labelling giant Sinclair, celebrating its 35th year in business at Asia Fruit Logistica, will be showcasing its newest and award-winning Compact Pattern Labeller.

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