Scaling Fruit Volumes and Transparency Across the Fruit Supply Chain
With funding from CFIN’s Food Innovation Challenge, this project will use a computer vision and intelligence system that collects and analyzes data from across an entire orchard to digitize fruit crops in real time and create a more agile and transparent fruit supply chain.
Why CFIN Is Funding This Project
This project supports all three of CFIN’s strategic pillars: smart product and process development, food ecosystem sustainability, and agile and safe supply chains.
Vivid Machines is working with two leading apple growers and packers in Ontario -- Algoma Orchards and Blue Mountain Fruit Company -- to create digital twins of their orchards. This will help better determine ideal harvest timing so that growers can more precisely meet the demands and needs of grocers and food processors.
The information generated by the system will also allow packhouses to offer better margins and end-user pricing, while optimizing shipping, packing and storage costs. Overall, the technology will address labour challenges in the fruit industry; improve productivity, efficiency and product quality; and strengthen supply chain stability from the farm gate to the consumer.
Benefits to Canadians
Having more information readily available about the volume and quality of fruit growing in an orchard lets farmers, packhouses, and fruit buyers -- like retailers and processors -- make better decisions about when and how much fruit to purchase, store, market or process. This results in stronger domestic food security and ensures a consistent supply of quality, homegrown fruit for Canadian consumers.
Market Adoption/Global Opportunity
Tree fruit growers around the world are challenged with labour shortages and are actively seeking smart, automated solutions to help fill those gaps. At the same time, intelligent systems will help them address the demands of their customers for more stable and accurate fruit yield and harvest readiness predictions. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, apples are grown in nearly 100 countries around the world, representing a tremendous opportunity for adoption and adaptation of this type of technology.