Anna Giacovelli

customer story

Giacovelli, Italy

The Locorotondo-based company, one of Italy’s leading cherry producers, started the 2022 season with a new Invision 2 optical sorter from TOMRA Food, installed at the plant in Turi (Bari). The machine is connected to the Total View Plus digital platform, which can detect a wide range of internal and external fruit defects and monitor the workflow for unprecedented quality.

In May 2022, the cherry season at Giacovelli Srl’s plant in Turi (Bari) got underway in high gear, thanks to the new SFS Invision 2 optical sorter from TOMRA Food with Total View Plus, installed by its Italian partner ICOEL.

Anna and Anna Rita Giacovelli are the new generation of the Locorotondo fruit and vegetable company, which was founded in 1954. Anna is the daughter of Raffaele, who runs Giacovelli with his brother Piero. She is deeply attached to the company’s lengthy history: “We started in local markets with stands where we sold directly to the consumer. The first product we sold was citrus fruit and bit by bit we added others, including cherries, which are now one of the most important fruits for us. We process several tons each year for European markets (central and northern Europe) and Italy. Precisely because cherries are becoming more and more important, we decided to invest in technology from TOMRA and ICOEL”.

TOMRA InVision2
TOMRA InVision 2
This is the first time the Italian company has worked with an optical sorter. Until 2021 it had always relied on mechanical sorters. Today, to better cope with the increasingly demanding retail and wholesale markets, it has opted for automation. The difference was obvious right from the start. “Thanks to the new sorting machine, we have really improved everything related to diameter selection and quality of the end product: we are now able to obtain a more accurate gauge. The machine learns with us every day what the problems or perhaps even the advantages of each variety of cherry are, detecting defects for the best quality end product”, explains Anna.
TOMRA Food’s Invision 2 accurately sorts the tons of cherries processed each day at Giacovelli’s Turi plant according to size, shape and color. In addition, the Total View Plus module, thanks to its 7 different views of the cherry, accurately identifies a wide range of defects without affecting processing speed or hourly productivity.

Technology that guarantees a clean, homogeneous end product

Carlos Eyheralde, the company’s agronomist, and quality control manager, boasts extensive experience with sorting machines and optical grading systems. After over a month of using TOMRA Food’s Invision 2 at the Giacovelli packaging plant, he comments, “This machine is different because it really does come much closer to achieving a clean and homogenous end product. I really appreciate the quality of the electronics, the sensors and the precision of the optical cameras that reject both external and internal problems with the fruit. Even when the cherries come onto the line, it is all handled mechanically and electronically, and the process is really gentle. The machine could still be improved, and I am sure it will be, in making defect selection even more accurate”.
In fact, despite the speed of production, the fruit is not hit or damaged and the transfers all take place in water to ensure good individualization and distribution of the fruit to one of the 30 outlets in the plant.

Anna continues, “What you can see at a glance is the automation of processing, which optimizes and specializes the role of the staff themselves”.

She concludes, “We are totally convinced that investing in technology and automation is a key aspect and the TOMRA and ICOEL installation was the cherry on top of the cake this year. Without a doubt, automating, innovating and streamlining processes helps everyone a little bit, on a business level and on a processing level”.
Dynamic Lane Balancer at work
Dynamic Lane Balancer at work
The packing stage at Giacovellis
The packing stage

For TOMRA Food, Every Cherry Counts and so does every fruit and vegetable enterprise

“Every Resource Counts” is not just a slogan for TOMRA Food, but a serious commitment to minimizing food waste as part of a real food “revolution” involving the entire supply chain. It leverages the latest technology developed from the real needs of the fruit and vegetable industry.

Benedetta Ricci Iamino, Global Category Director Cherry, at TOMRA Food, explains the approach to this particular sector. “Over the past 12 months, a team of our experts has traveled to all the world’s major cherry production areas, working side by side with our customers to try and understand how to help them improve yields, minimize waste, lower labor costs and find answers to ongoing challenges, future market needs and increased quality requirements”.

This focus on the customer is always appreciated – “The human side is also really important. The team is always ready to help you find solutions for any kind of need”, say Anna and Carlos.

“Italy is definitely one of the most significant markets for TOMRA Food’s cherry category and will remain our main focus”, explains Benedetta Ricci Iamino. “Thanks to our solid partnership with ICOEL, over half the electronic sorting systems in the country come from TOMRA. We expect to increase this number over the next two years, thanks to the growing interest in our technology from Italian customers, who know they can count on TOMRA and ICOEL to take care of their cherries”.

Giacovelli customer story (please choose subtitles/closed captions in the video options for English subtitles)
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