FAMILY TREE FARMS and UNITEC: The California horticultural center thanks UNITEC for keeping its word, for the professional support and… the Results achieved!

I have been working with UNITEC for about three years and I can honestly say that it is one of the most professional companies in the world that I have dealt with in the field of fruit calibration and packaging internationally.

The words of Daniel Jackson, owner of Family Tree Farms, leave no room for interpretation and fill the UNITEC Team with gratitude. Family Tree Farms, Californian fruit and vegetable center headquartered in Reedley, specializing in the cultivation, process, packaging and world export of blueberries and stone fruit, who had already trusted UNITEC in 2018 and 2019 with the installation of a line of blueberries and a line of peaches, this year he wanted to confirm his trust in UNITEC, with the installation of two more lines of blueberries.

One thing I saw when I started working with UNITEC is that they don't overvalue their product. What they told me is exactly what was achieved and that gave us a lot of confidence. An example? We were told that your 16-way blueberry grader would process 7000 pounds per hour * and it is just that. Best of all, he's pushed those limits too - with slightly larger blueberries we're working £ 9000 an hour * on his line - and we all know what that means as operators!

* The potential depends on the average weight of the processed fruit NdR

What positively surprised Daniel Jackson was, in the first place, the fact that UNITEC has kept its word. Not only that, Jackson was also pleased with how, during the negotiations, his representatives never overestimated the proposed solution. This aspect is in the DNA of UNITEC.

Lines Family Tree Farms are equipped with the vision system Blueberry Vision 3 from UNITEC, capable of classifying blueberries with great precision and reliability according to a multiplicity of parameters -

internal quality (softness), external quality, defects in shape, caliber and color - independent of each other, thus creating many quality classes capable of satisfying different consumer tastes and diverse destination and distribution needs.

An aspect that I really like about this technology - said Daniel Jackson - It is the quality classification: you can select the fruits by size, discard the dehydrated, red and green fruits, the dreaded flowers and stems that we blueberry operators have to deal with, which make us lose sleep and give us nightmares! ! […] You can see all the product that comes out, you can use it for the canning industry, the fruit juice industry… while the other outputs will produce top quality fruits!

Thanks to its resolution cameras, which visualize 100% of each blueberry, Blueberry Vision 3 It allows separating blueberries of "premium" quality, with very valuable characteristics, from those of second or third quality intended for the food industry, but also allows dividing the product of second or third quality into several additional categories.

Then Jackson focused on how having a UNITEC line is a major advantage in times when the weather is not favorable:

In the past years, when it had to be classified in the traditional way, by means of “eye” observation, there was much more margin for error. When we had a heat wave or rain, we saw our quality drop and sometimes we had to stop, stop harvesting, but thanks to the UNITEC line it was possible to continue harvesting, discarding the defective product and the result is a high quality product, a great consumer experience to offer our client and to be proud of.

Jackson speaks of "a great consumer experience", this is because full satisfaction of the final Consumer is always the final objective. And this satisfaction goes hand in hand with no complaints: The use of Blueberry Vision 3 technology minimizes complaints of discrepancies between the product agreed with the distributor and the product delivered. The product classified with this technology is a product that does not disappoint, without surprises. And for this reason UNITEC technology works as a true quality mark and product quality homogeneity in every delivery.

Jonathan Peterson, Production Director of Family Tree Farms, you are very satisfied:

Quality is very important to us, especially in the three regions where we are working. It is also important to be sure that we can deliver uniform quality fruit to the consumer. 

[…] It's something we've really been able to do.

And if this is important for the domestic market, it is even more important for the export market. Blueberry Vision 3, allowing to obtain a homogeneous quality product within each container and between containers, helps to open new export routes, even in markets far from the place of production and process

Full satisfaction of the final consumer, but also increase in production efficiency inside the plant. At the Reedley, California facility, Family Tree Farms He was able to employ just 10-11 people to process blueberries on the line, compared to the 85 people he would have had to employ with a traditional work mode! Downsizing is now more important than ever as we are seeking concrete answers to a dual need: workplace safety and end product safety. UNITEC's lines for blueberries, thanks to their level of automation, respond to both: on the one hand, they allow minimize labor on lines, favoring work while respecting safety distances; on the other hand, they help avoid the risk of product contamination by the staff, since blueberries do not come into direct contact with the operators during the process.

These are advantages that Family Tree Farms has found not only in that of blueberries, but also in the process of peaches. In fact, in 2019 the plant also invested in a UNITEC line equipped with the vision system Peach Vision 3, dedicated to the process and classification of peaches and nectarines. However, the system is also suitable for plums and apricots, and the positive results were immediate.

Family Tree Farms was the first company in California to install the line equipped with Peach Vision 3. We love this technology, we love the vision capabilities of quality calibration, and we love that you make choices for us. So packers do not have to make decisions, which makes them more efficient. 

Peach Vision 3 concretely helped central Family Tree Farms to significantly improve the ability to correctly classify your peaches. We can say that the fruit and vegetable plants that operate with Peach Vision 3 have a greater possibility of creating a relationship of full trust with their Clients and the case of Family Tree Farms is the concrete testimony of all this.

My father David Jackson - Daniel said - The relationship with UNITEC began, I have continued it and I want the next generations, my three sons and my three daughters, to be able to continue it in turn, so that they can look back and be proud of producing a blueberry that is a great experience not only food, but also for the eyes […]: a healthy product that UNITEC helped us bring to the market.

The whole family of Family Tree Farms She is proud of her product and activity, and the UNITEC team is equally proud to have helped her improve her work. Being specifically at the service of all operators in the fruit and vegetable sector is the goal of UNITEC.

UNITEC thanks Family Tree Farms for the special Trust!

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