GEN Close up of red cherries

A new project is set to provide cherry exporters from Victoria, Australia with real-time data loggers so they can monitor their fruit as it travels to Asia.

The loggers will be deployed with cherries exported by airfreight to Vietnam and will record temperature, humidity, location, light, shock/vibration and will highlight if, and where, any impacts on fruit quality are occurring along the supply chain.

Agriculture Victoria is funding the project and scientist Glenn Hale hoped it would encourage growers to utilise new technology, allowing them to monitor the supply chain in real-time and deal with any issues immediately.

“Harvesting fresh cherries at the optimal maturity is the first step in achieving great quality as is handling them at the correct temperature, as fruit quality can only ever be maintained after harvest but not improved,” said Hale.

“It’s definitely a team effort for everyone in the export process to work together, whether it be contract pickers, packers, transport companies, treatment providers, freight forwarders or airlines, so that these highly perishable fruits arrive in overseas markets in the best possible condition,” he added.

“There will also be an opportunity for growers and exporters to trial, and provide feedback, on a new dashboard that has been developed between the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland in consultation with other fruit growers and Agriculture Victoria. The dashboard has been designed to stream-line the programming process that is required to set-up the loggers soon after activating them and for ease of data interpretation”

Charlotte Brunt of Cherry Growers Australia encouraged growers of all sizes to participate and said the results of the research trials will be shared with the industry during the season and full summary would be provided post-season.