This year Sorma Group will once again be attending Macfrut, the international fruit and vegetable sector show, to be held in Rimini (Italy) from 3 to 5 May. As well as the latest innovations in fruit and vegetable grading and packaging systems, the Group will be exhibiting the new LCP-128A weighing machine, specifically designed for cluster tomatoes and table grapes. The machine, which, just a few months after its launch, has already been adopted by several tomato distribution companies in Europe, including ACMC Fruit in Italy and Greenpack in the Netherlands, will also be under the spotlight at Pianeta Rosso, the tomato production chain congress organised by the show, sponsored by Sorma.
On the market since the start of this year, the LCP-128A combined weighing machine has been designed to overcome the main criticalities in the packaging of cluster products, a labour-intensive, time-consuming operation that also generates unremunerated overweights.
After several sales in Europe, the first Italian business to put in an order was ACMC Fruit of Locorotondo (Apulia, Italy) owned by Cosimo and Dionisio Galluzzi, a post-harvest processor, packer and domestic and export distributor of fresh fruit and vegetable products. “Thanks to this Sorma technology,” the two proprietors explain, “we’ve automated the most labour-intensive part of the cluster tomato packaging process. In fact, this weighing machine helps the operator to complete the partially pre-filled tray by finding the best combination for achieving the customer’s requested minimum guaranteed weight and placing the relative product on the line next to the punnet. The machine has made our weights more accurate (we’re saving about 20-30 grams of tomato overweight per punnet) and also increased our productivity and thus our competitiveness.”
With the Sorma weighing machine, ACMC Fruit reports an average reduction in overweight, with product savings (i.e. overweight reduction) increasing in proportion to the starting weight of the punnet (which may be filled to 20/30 g above the stated weight to allow for natural product shrinkage).
The weighing machine already has a glowing reference in the Netherlands, where it has been successfully tested by the Greenpack fruit and vegetable packaging and distribution centre. With the new LCP-128A also at customer Greenpack they see some good result about saving labour costs, that’s why they decided to let Sorma install several lines.
This innovative machine’s strengths will also be illustrated on 3 May at the Pianeta Rosso congress, a two-day meeting dedicated entirely to tomatoes attended by the whole production chain with the aim of coming up with a common production and marketing strategy for the trade.
“The tomato segment is central to Italian fruit and vegetable production,” states Sorma Group Marketing Manager Mario Mercadini, ”and it’s also one of the most popular vegetables on the domestic market: according to Ismea data, it accounts for about 15% of household spending on fresh vegetables, and Italians eat about 18 kg of tomatoes a head every year (+12.9% in 10 years). Not even inflation and the consequent increase in retail prices right across the fruit and vegetable market have slowed purchases of this product, given its centrality to the Italian diet and the iconic dishes in our cuisine: sales rose by 8% during 2019-2021, and were even stable during January-October 2022.”
The appointment is on stand 147, hall D1.