MANGO production isn't necessarily a priority for New Zealand but the country sure knows how to make software to handle the tropical fruit.
Australian mango producer Piñata Farms reported streamlined ripening and distribution operations during its 2018-2019 season thanks to its new FreshPack software.
The program was built by New Zealand fresh produce software specialist, Radfords Software Limited.
Radfords' product owner - multi produce, Bobby Barnes, said an add-on to its FreshPack post-harvest solution at Piñata Farms, allowed Piñata and ripening and distribution provider LaManna Premier Group (LPG) to track mangoes via live data at any point in the supply chain during the season.
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"It reduced duplication of data entry and boosted confidence in product visibility," he said.
Piñata Farms was the first mango producer to adopt the technology which could be configured for any product which needed to be ripe before sale, he said.
Rolled out in October 2018, the software enabled LPG distribution centres in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, to accurately track and trace mangoes arriving throughout the season from up to 20 packhouses around Australia, Mr Barnes said.
Specialty Honey Gold mangoes are produced by Darwin Fruit Farms (DFF), a joint venture between Piñata and LPG in the Northern Territory and Piñata's Queensland farms as well as 30 contracted third-party growers in the NT, Queensland, NSW , Victoria and WA from November to March annually.
"Previously, when product arrived, LPG staff were required to manually enter data and send a report to Piñata where data had to be re-entered," Mr Barnes said.
"Clearly, there was a duplication that could be streamlined to reduce time and save money.
"With the new deployment, LPG staff access FreshPack via the cloud to enter data. Piñata staff then access that data automatically to identify where product is and what ripening stage it's at."
Piñata Farms' key account manager, Rebecca Scurr, said the modification had outstripped Piñata's objectives.
"Having centralised data reduced the need for a lot of printed reports and gave us the confidence to make key decisions quickly and easily, based on fact," she said.
"We had 'to-the-minute' knowledge of our stock levels and where our stock was at any given time.
"During mango season, it saved us one administration person at 40 hours per week for 16 weeks.
Approximately 70 clients have FreshPack installed to manage a range of products including kiwifruit, apples, avocados, citrus, cherries, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, squash and organic chicken.
- Copy supplied by Radfords.