Lauetta Farm, Zimbabwe reports successful first blueberry export
Lauetta Farm, an agribusiness in Zimbabwe about 40kms outside the capital, Harare focuses on the produce of blueberries. As the first-time growers of Costa genetics in Zimbabwe, they aimed to export to markets in Europe and the far East. Lauetta investments started a completely new, green field project in 2019. The shareholders looked into producing blueberries for the Costa Group. The decision was made to start with an investment in 20 hectares of production with a start-up cost of approximately $120,000 per hectare resulting in a $2,400,000.00 start-up investment for production alone.
The client challenge
Lauetta aimed to deliver class 1, premium quality fruit to final markets and in turn a premium return on investment. The farm in Zimbabwe would have to maintain this quality to markets in the UK, Europe, Middle East and the Far East with a transit journey of up to 13,000km, 72 hours by air freight and 35 days by sea freight. The cold chain infrastructure needed to be as close to the areas of production as possible. They needed to understand the importance of step-down temperature maintenance in the post-harvest handling and packing process. Lastly, remove field heat and reduce product temperature of the finished goods, packed for export.
The InspiraFarms solution
The team of experts at InspiraFarms guided the Lauetta investors to make the right considerations and completely understand the importance of the cold chain. They designed and developed a 240 square meter facility which included 2 pre-cooling rooms to remove field heat, a temperature controlled packing house and a finished product room with forced air cooling to bring final product temperature down to 0-1 degrees. The facility included special add on features of humidifiers to reduce dehydration and remote monitoring technology.
The success story
Lauetta Farms were able to access premium markets in Hong Kong, Europe, UK and the Middle East based. This was based on the size of their berries and quality on arrival in the market due to premium cold chain infrastructure and protocols. The shareholders are now planning on expanding production to a total of 40 hectares by the end 2021.
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