Orchardist Stuart Pickworth says a Victorian Government grant to develop infrared technology for the quality control of apples is a win both for consumers and his apple-packing staff.
Orchardist Stuart Pickworth says a Victorian Government grant to develop infrared technology for the quality control of apples is a win for consumers and his apple-packing staff.
Mr Pickworth was delighted his Tatura business was one of 10 companies to be awarded technology development vouchers, as part of the Victorian Government’s $8
Pickworth Orchards in partnership with Melbourne-based GP Graders will receive up to $50
‘‘We had a request from one of our major customers to go down this path,’’ Mr Pickworth said,
‘‘It’s not finished yet, it’s just in development .
‘‘Without the Victorian Government we couldn’t have gone ahead.’’
While Mr Pickworth protested there was ‘‘not much to see, it’s just a box’’, clearly the detection of flaws or internal browning in apples is important progress for the industry.
‘‘With defect sorting it takes the fatigue from the people (doing it). It’s a fairly hard job to be doing the same job all day.
‘‘It will give a lot better confidence in the produce to the customer and we expect to use it on all the various varieties,’’ Mr Pickworth said.
In announcing the funding last Wednesday, Technology Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips said the vouchers would help innovative companies to connect with high-tech services providers to undertake technology development activities or test the feasibility of integrating technology into products or processes.
‘‘Businesses can use vouchers in exchange for access to facilities, services or expertise provided by high-tech service providers or publicly funded research organisations,’’ Mr Rich-Phillips said.
‘‘The 10 companies receiving vouchers today are developing a diverse range of innovative products, including: safety devices; sophisticated information and communication technology platforms; a corrosion protection coating; high-performance batteries; and a low-cost blood test to help manage heart failure.
‘‘Companies are also using vouchers to improve processes such as food processing and distribution.
‘‘Adoption of new technologies is a known driver of productivity, which is why we are helping companies to explore how technology can give them a competitive advantage.’’
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