Enabling access to new markets and efficient logistics through smart cold chain management
Claremont Farm in Juliasdale, Zimbabwe,forms part of the Ariston Holdings Group. Ariston Holdings through its various investments produces apples, stone fruit, flowers, tea, coffee and macadamia nuts. Claremont specifically produces pome and stone fruits. Farmers spend a large amount of time, money and energy in producing a premium crop which is often lost during poor post-harvest practices. Understanding the different stages of the cold chain, can maintain the premium quality of produce while utilizing an ocean freight programme with extended transit times.
The client challenge
Claremont was able to access export markets via airfreight with marginal success using existing cold rooms. The rooms allowed for fruit to be stored after grading and packing. However, they were not able to offer the critical first stage in post-harvest cold chain which is removing field heat from the fruit as close to the time of picking as possible. Secondly, the rooms were not able to efficiently and effectively reduce fruit to 0-2 degrees which is the optimal shipping and storage temperature.
The InspiraFarms solution
Claremont acquired InspiraFarms technology for in-door cold storage, with double (partitioned) pre-cooling rooms and with forced air cooler (grid connected), expected to store 1,200 MT of stone fruit vegetables, with a target for 2019 of 12 MT per day to be cooled, graded, and held at temperature. They also trained their staff around proper use of the technology in order to standardize and maintain the premium quality of the fruits from the orchards.
The success story
Claremont reported an increased revenue with lower logistics costs as they are no longer relying on a third-party service provider for their cooling requirements. The ability to reduce post-harvest losses and maintaining the quality of class 2 fruits with extended shelf-life is giving the ability to store and market the fruit locally. Now the farm is increasing the overall saleable kilograms, with increased cash flow that is allowing them to expand the number of hectares of production and invest in new varieties.
While they are still exploring new markets and different freight options looking into the future, Claremont aims to increase their cooling and storage capacity.
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