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post-harvest logistics

A crucial aspect of healthy technology with fresh produce is the post-production chain of the produce to the consumer.

The highly perishable product, tomatoes, provides a particular challenge in post-harvest logistics. Transporting the picked fruit from widely distributed 2000 hectares to the packhouse, proved the first problematic item.

From bumpy tractor and trailer transport in open crates, this was improved to mass wooden crates in 1996. Handling could now be improved by forklifts, transport by trucks and shading provided throughout.

In 2015 permanent paved loading platforms (“dance floors”) were added to this logistical chain, and wooden mass crates were replaced by smoother and cleaner plastic mass containers.

Hand sorting and packing in traditional wooden boxes was the industry norm up to 1995. Since 1994, ZZ2  switched to the much more functional open “Boix” container, developed and produced in collaboration with Mondi Pack. Soon these containers were supplemented and in 1996 fully replaced by even more ergonomic cardboard containers.

Eventually, a variety of plastic bags and small pallets were added to our packhouse logistics for various consumers’ needs and convenience.

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In 2003, ZZ2 erected the first intelligent quality sorter packing machine. Our engineering team has designed packhouses to handle our produce (tomatoes, avocados and recently cherries and dates) with greatest efficiency and benefit to consumers.

Not only are the most efficient packing machinery and electronic equipment developed, but the cooling of the whole supply chain is controlled.

The logistics of providing fresh tomatoes to the whole of South Africa every day of the year is formidable.

In 1971, Bertie van Zyl already exceeded a production of 1 million boxes tomatoes per year, and as early as 1964 decided he could not entrust the crucial transport to markets to contractors.

Ever since, the workshops and fleet of market trucks have been an exemplary state of the art enterprise at ZZ2. The efficiency and low downtime and accidents of this fleet are way above industry norms, contributing to the low carbon footprint of our business.

Improving and maintaining thousands of km of farm roads, and even assisting the public roads department in maintaining 300km of public roads, are also done by our engineers – mainly in the interest of protecting our product against post-harvest damage.

Copyright 2021