It’s a busy time here at Yarra Valley Cherries! Our trees are primed with ripening fruit that is almost ready for picking.

Following a successful cherry season in 2020, and with a likely uplift of approximately 25 tonnes of fruit, from the new trees that were planted 4 years ago, we needed an upgrade to our grading machine.

Our current Air Jet Grader is a 2 lane optical grader, built on a four lane frame. This enables us to have 30 images taken of every cherry, identifying colour, size and any blemish.

New grading system

To deal with the increased volumes that we will experience this year and beyond, we made the decision to install 4 lanes of optical grading, all supported by GP Graders latest vision grading system.

The new cameras substantially improve defect attention, which means that we have been able to shorten all of our exit belts. With less manual checking required on each belt, we are not only saving labour, but shed space as well.

To further improve our operations and future proof our grading and packing shed, we have replaced our bin tipper, cluster cutter, elevator and receival tank, together with our small fruit eliminator with brand new higher capacity equipment.

New lanes of optical grading

Photo: New lanes of optical grading

GP Graders latest vision grading system

Photo: GP Graders latest vision grading system

New punnet machine

Yarra Valley Cherries has also installed a new innovative filling solution for our punnets, to enable the packing of punnets to be undertaken much more efficiently to the target weights.  The machine has been purchased from Tomra Foods in New Zealand. The most common punnets that we sell are 500g punnets for the big supermarkets, and the machine will fill 18 of these per minute.

New punnet machine

Photo: New Punnet Machine