This is a tray of big kiwifruit which all weigh between 151 to 180 grams. There are 22 in the tray.
Here's how the process goes.
In my last post about picking there were photos of bins of fruit leaving our orchard on trucks. This is where they came to ( - the packhouse and coolstore )and sat for 48 hours to cure.
The forklift driver picks up 3 bins at a time and brings them to the machine that tips them out onto a big conveyor belt which carries them past big brushes into the packhouse.
The fruit then passes across grading tables which roll the fruit in front of the graders who remove the fruit that is not up to export grade standard.
By her right hand is a chute that she put the rejects down to be carried away.
Here is the quality controllers supervisor having an extra look ( can't be very comfortable! )
The fruit then travels up a singulator which lands each fruit in little cups that weigh the fruit to decide which tray of box it belongs in.
Here is a view from upstairs looking down on the lines of packing arms each for a different size.
The black part down the middle are the weighing cups that let the fruit go at the right packing lane.
Here the packer at the big fruit lane is using a frame to check that the fruit is not too flat. It needs to be round.
This packer is tucking the liner around the fruit to stop it drying out.
She then pushes the box along to the end of the arm.
A label is printed and stuck on the tray or box.
The boxes are then stacked onto a pallet base.
The Quality Controllers come and take boxes which they then inspect under magnification to make sure the fruit is "in Grade" for export.
The pallets then get trolleyed to this automatic pallet strapping machine.
Here's a strapped pallet of trays of fruit size 36 ( each fruit weighs between 98 and 110 grams ). The pallet card has all the details about whose fruit; when packed and has a orange sticker that means it is is Y taste band ( that's good! )
Then it's off to the cool store for the pallets to be pre - cooled and stored till they go for their big over seas trip to some part of the world.
This is where the rejected fruit comes to the reject bin(s). I can see a couple of flat fruit in there but you can see there is not a great deal wrong with the fruit. The standards are very high for Zespri export Kiwifruit. ( there are 32 different reasons a fruit may be rejected! )
I don't wish to end with that so here is a tray of big fruit being nestled carefully into it's plix before it's long journey to maybe your place ? It will travel by ship . Zespri ( New Zealand ) kiwifruit goes to 55 different countries.