Table grapes case study - AgPickBook a demonstration

Table grapes

Providing a solution for Fruit Master

Fruit Master Australia is a leading table grape business acquired by Perfection Fresh Australia in 2022. It has sites in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland and a network of aligned grower-partners across Australia. AgPick is in operation at four sites in New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland.

The challenge

The introduction of national horticultural industry piece-rate rules in early 2022, requiring producers to track activities and record work times, prompted Fruit Master to implement AgPick at its Sunraysia and Queensland table grape sites.

It took the lead from Perfection Berries where AgPick’s use at raspberry and blueberry sites in Queensland and Tasmania since 2020 has enhanced operations and improved efficiencies.

Fruit Master looked to AgPick for a flexible and easy-to- use solution that added the ability to create and track a comprehensive list of winter crop work including break times, carried out between June and September when vines were dormant. It also sought a system that eliminated user-verification steps and sped-up scanning time.

Fruit Master’s automated bar code scanning system, which was already in place, was efficiently tracking grapes and cartons for export traceability when the need to elevate record-keeping compliance with new Horticulture Award changes became more pressing. Its existing system did not have the capacity to record crop work times and activities for every block or calculate piece and hourly rates which vary across sites and, according to work type.

The solution

Fruit Master national operations manager Micheal Lanteri was initially concerned the system was too complicated. However, he says he has been “converted” because AgPick has made his life easier.

“To comply, you need to have the data to prove stop and start times and hours pickers are working. AgPick scans people in and out and we also use it on crop work such as pruning, rolling on, pulling out, shoot thinning, leaf plucking and bunch counting,” he says.

“As AgPick is fully customisable and can easily integrate with existing systems, it was a good fit. Culturally, as part of the Perfection Fresh business – where innovation and process are the ‘Perfection’ way, partnering with Fruit Master was also a good fit,” CEO Henrietta Child says.

Table grape case study - AgPick

“AgPick was integrated with Fruit Master’s existing system so it could continue its core scanning process and gain the functionality of time recording and reporting for compliance,” she says.

Table grape case study - AgPick

The outcome

To meet Fruit Master’s request for faster scanning, AgPick adjusted work flows and added a duplicate protection step to replace multiple verification steps.

With various bar code options on offer, Fruit Master chose a unique system that records picker activity and trays combined. Bar codes printed in-house remain on trays throughout transit to market.

Implementation was timed to meet the Horticultural Award’s April 28 compliance deadline and to fall at the end of the summer harvest period to achieve minimum disruption to operations.

The New South Wales and Victoria sites at Paringi and Robinvale were first to go-live with the Queensland site at Emerald following.

With the AgPick team supporting Fruit Master through implementation, the process became an integral part of its operations within weeks.

“All activity is now captured in real time across a wide (and expanding) range of outdoor activities. It is then uploaded to Perfection Fresh’s corporate cost reporting system for labour management,” Henrietta says.

The AgPick solution is based on touch screens via android devices designed for outdoor use and conditions for data capture supported by a portal which can be accessed by any web device from any location, at any time.

“AgPick provides a deeper level of reporting – tied back to blocks and different operations. Managers can calculate piece rates and hourly rates in multiple areas and jobs beyond picking, more easily than before and the data provides a detailed breakdown of those activities,” Henrietta says.

“AgPick hasn’t changed our process but now we can see the number of boxes plus hours people have worked and have look at our pricing for the year,” Micheal says.

“In peak season, AgPick tracks the activities of up to 270 workers across all sites,” he says.

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