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success story serkka farms, canada


Serkka Farms is family owned and operated, and was established in 1987 by the Belgian Allaer Family. Their fields stretch out over more than 2,000 hectares where they grow a wide variety of products such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, grains, soy beans and oil seeds. The company is also a well-known turkey producer. By automating its tomato processing lines with TOMRA’s NFM field sorting machines, Serkka Farms was able to increase its output enormously and watch labor cost drop dramatically.

Eric Allaer, CEO at Serkka Farms

In 1947, the late Gaston Allaer immigrated to Canada with his entire family from East Flanders, Belgium. Gaston and his family brought with them a solid agricultural background and a strong work ethic which led them to settle and begin farming in Wallaceburg, Ontario.

In the late eighties, his three sons took over and since then, the company has continued to grow and diversify its operation to meet the daily needs and demands of its customers. Today Serkka Farms employs 35 people.

“At Serkka Farms we aim to meet the demands of our customers with top quality products, which is why we continuously invest in innovative solutions and sustainable farm practices,” explains Eric Allaer, President of Serkka Farms.

The company strives to create a healthy balance between maximum production and respect for the land. This is the reason it went looking for an optical sorting solution that corresponds with that vision.

DECREASING LABOR COSTS BY 90 PERCENT

Commenting on the machine, Allaer says: “TOMRA’s NFM sorters support us in our mission to provide reliable high quality tomato products. On top of that, we can count on excellent support from their sales and service team, who ensure that the machines always run in the most efficient way, limiting our production costs.”

“By implementing the two machines, we have seen our labor cost decrease by 90 percent. Moreover, we were able to increase our output per hour by up to 400 tons a day during high season. This enabled our tomato business to expand 35 times more than we would have done with manual sorting techniques. That’s a double payback.”

“TOMRA’s sorting equipment is the best sorting equipment out there. Our investment was already paid back within one year.”

“TOMRA’s NFM sorting machines provide excellent sorting, even in the most difficult environments, due to dirt, dust and vibration. The NFM can deal with hot, cold and wet weather, while maintaining the quality of the tomato harvest and without damaging the produce.”

“At Serkka Farms we are always exploring new harvesting techniques that could further optimize our processing lines and strengthen our battle skills in this competitive global market. In our continued research we can count on TOMRA’s and Pik Rite’s expertise to support us in our search of new innovations to make us the best.”