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Trypol Pack is a cooperative of Belgian farmers, based in Flanders, specialising in Brussels sprouts. A production they excel in, and now the TOMRA sorting machines will help them to bring European consumers the best quality.
We are proud to say that Brussels sprouts are a Belgian specialty. They are supposed to originate in the town of Saint-Gilles, in 1685, and are the result of a cabbage hybrid. So, they do not owe their original French name (choux de Bruxelles = cabbages from Brussels) to chance! The production of Brussels sprouts has been on the rise in recent years. They are attributed the virtues of a super food. We are even seeing the reappearance of rare new varieties, such as purple Brussels sprouts and flowering Brussels sprouts, which give allure and originality to reception tables. However, demand remains seasonal, it is a vegetable that we prefer to eat in winter.
Originally a family farm specialising in this vegetable, Trypol Pack was created in 2008 with the aim of marketing its harvest not only in bulk to food manufacturers, but also to the fresh market, packed in nets. This packaging has enabled it to address the supermarket distribution, which results in fewer losses than with the bulk department. In addition, the packaging extends the shelf life of the product.
Production is now shipped to 3 neighbouring export markets: France, the Netherlands and Germany. Exports represent 80% of the output, compared to 20% for Belgium.
The harvest begins in September, initially intended for the fresh market. In November, the focus will shift more to customers in the food industry for frozen or canned food. Sizes over 30mm are intended for the fresh market. The smallest cabbages, between 15 and 35mm, go to the industrial market. The combination of the two markets makes it possible to optimize the harvest and production processes.
In 2017, Tryvan installed the first TOMRA optical sorting machine. This sorter has a capacity of 10 tonnes/h.
"We wanted to automate as much as possible. Because it is difficult to find staff and the sorting work is very tedious and delicate," explains Evelien Vanlerberghe, of Tryvan. "We use a TOMRA optical sorter to detect and eject unsaleable products, stones, and other impurities from the harvest stream."
"The TOMRA machine allowed us to reduce the workforce: we had about 15 people on the production line, when currently we only need 8."
The TOMRA optical sorting machine guarantees a superior quality level. Optical sorting is more effective than the human eye, which gets tired and makes mistakes.
The TOMRA machine is easy to use. Different programs have been installed, you can launch whatever you want in a few seconds from the touch screen, depending on what we receive from the fields, the colours and characteristics of the cabbage being different according to the variety, Brussels sprouts, leaf cabbage, purple cabbage. It's very simple, easy to handle, and the customer service is always available when needed.
Tryvan plans to invest in a new optical sorting machine to process the crops directly on site, in the fields. This will allow them to check the purity of the flow received from the fields, thus making the process even more efficient.