PRO-AT located in Sliedrecht (NL) provided The Prominent Growers’ Association distribution centre with a fully automated packaging-line.
Together with suppliers of which Kortho a communication-protocol was developped. Within this protocol each equipment is communicating. Evaluating after producing 1 year shows that this packaging-line meets the aims provided.
Prominent vine tomatoes come from the Netherlands, and are grown in the horticultural region known as ‘the Westland’, on the coast between the cities of Rotterdam and the Hague. This has been a fruit and vegetable growing area for many generations.
Members of the Prominent Growers’ Association can therefore rely on years of know-how and experience in growing vine tomatoes. The growers have bundled their expertise in growing healthy, quality products.
This results in top quality tomatoes marketed under the Prominent, Prima Vita, Promise and Aromio brand names. Prominent tomatoes are mainly exported to the USA and European countries (Germany, Scandinavia, UK and Italy).
The Prominent Growers’ Association itself also has three companies: The DC Prominent packaging company and two grower companies Prominent Groeneweg I and Prominent Groeneweg II. DC Prominent mainly packages the products grown by the Prominent growers. The know-how developed at the Prominent growing companies is put to good use by the members. This has enabled them to gain great expertise in growing under lights and the use of CHP systems. At Prominent Groeneweg II, the aim is to gain as much knowledge as possible on growing tomatoes in a semi-closed greenhouse.
The vast majority of all vine tomatoes is monitored daily by an independent controller. He or she visits the various companies and takes random samples. Customers have their own quality control process of course.
The association growers also monitor the quality of the product being sold. A box is collected fortnightly from each company during the production season. This sample is stored at a constant temperature for ten days, after which it is assessed by all growers, without knowing which box comes from which company. This allows growers to give a keen and honest opinion of the product.
A number of years ago, the major European supermarket chains put their heads together to formulate a set of food safety requirements. This resulted in the Global GAP standards. GAP stands for Good Agricultural Practice. A number of hygiene protocols needed to be formulated for that purpose. In the field of biological crop protection, fertilization and occupational health requirements too, the growers had a number of conditions to meet. The Prominent growers have implemented measures to meet all the requirements.
The growers’ association became certified according to international standards in 1998. From 2002 on, this became the 9001 standard. This standard stands for a uniform working method in order to arrive at a quality end product.
2678 NT De Lier
Tel. +31 (0)174 525 660
Automatie 9 2007 "Van ‘Wasserballon' naar high tech tomaat" ;
Auteurs: ing M.H. Matse MBA en ing. R.C.E.K. de Theije