Upgrade to loading pineapples
Last week Summerpride Foods, the East London-based pineapple processing plant, the largest in the Eastern Cape, made a major change to its infrastructure by doing away with a loading system that had been in operation for many years, which was costing a fortune in maintenance and loss of efficiency, and replacing it with eight forklifts.
“The pineapple business is challenging, with a volatile selling price. While South Africa accounts for 6% of the world market – Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Costa Rico are the major players – we have to continually micro-manage costs to stay competitive.
“An analysis of our gantry and loading system showed that over the years it was becoming a cost burden. We worked closely with the Kempston Group, revamping the delivery and loading system, and swapping to forklifts, and new wooden containers. Costs are down, efficiency is up, and each little bit, in the big picture adds to our cost-cutting goal and makes exports more attractive to overseas consumers.”