Kelowna’s own Days Century Growers is making Canadian history as the first to use a special kind of fruiting machine to sort and haul its thousands of pounds of pears.
The family-owned farm moves as many as three million pears each season, explained operations manager Erin Day.
“We are small scale compared to some of the larger packing houses out there, but our main focus is keeping a consistent grade,” she said in a news release.
The optical fruiting machinery, designed and manufactured in Holland, has two important functions: It dumps bins carrying thousands of pounds of pears into a wet dump and then also gently handles and sorts the fruit.
The machine will help decrease labor and the need for forklifting, the farm owners said.
“Another really cool aspect is the camera housing. The machine takes 60 pictures of each pear as it rolls by,” Day said. This feature allows for the pears to be sorted properly into different size and quality sections.
“All of our employees are very excited,” Day said. “They can see a bright future. We’re just starting to play with this, it’ll take time. It takes a lot of pears, but we’re getting there.”