Press release: TOMRA Group
TOMRA Food recently marked the company’s 50th anniversary, unveiled a new brand strategy affirming its future direction, launched a robotic packing machine, and launched a premium sorting machine for frozen Fruits and Vegetables. These wide-ranging announcements were made at a press conference this morning at the Fruit Logistica fresh produce trade show in Berlin, Germany, by Tove Andersen, president and CEO of the TOMRA Group, and Michel Picandet, executive vice president and dead of TOMRA Food. The three-day Fruit Logistica exhibition (held April 5 to 7), staged at the Berlin ExpoCenter City, attracts more than 70,000 trade visitors from across Europe. Though usually held annually, the event had to be canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the same week that TOMRA publicly celebrated its 50th birthday, its most senior executives also looked to the future by revealing TOMRA’s vision for playing a broader role in society and helping to create a world without waste.
This was discussed at one of four TOMRA Food hotspots at Fruit Logistica. TOMRA was founded in Norway on April 1, 1972, by brothers Petter and Tore Planke, who developed the first fully-automated reverse vending machine (RVM) in their family’s garage. TOMRA’s pioneering approach led to its continued development from designing and manufacturing RVMs to providing advanced sorting solutions for the food, recycling, and mining industries.
Andersen commented: “Fifty years after its humble beginnings, TOMRA can be proud of the fact that it is a highly respected global market leader. This is living proof of our ability to adapt, innovate, and provide the solutions our customers really need. This is also a time to look forward because we are now opening the chapter in TOMRA’s story where we step up our role leading the resource revolution.”
Picandet said: “Looking to the future, TOMRA Food is committed to leading the resource revolution in a world where every piece of food counts. We are on a mission to transform and help our customers feed the world, improve yield, minimize waste, and create sustainable value. Focusing on sorting and grading, and working closely with our customers, we can improve the value of food from harvesting to processing and packing, and even to distribution and consumption, considering the great value of the digital tools and data we provide.”
TOMRA Food’s new brand strategy highlights the value it creates for customers and food production worldwide, spotlights the ambition it shares with customers, and creates cohesion with past business mergers and acquisitions.
To align TOMRA Food’s operations, which have grown over the years with mergers and acquisitions, two businesses acquired by TOMRA in 2018, Compac and BBC Technologies, now adopt the TOMRA Food brand name. These will form a newly-created business area, TOMRA Fresh Food, while TOMRA Food’s other operations become part of the TOMRA Processed Food business area.
And to affirm TOMRA Food’s commitment to work even closer with growers, packers and food processors to optimize food production, bit by bit, the TOMRA Food brand name will now be accompanied for the first time by a tagline: “Every Resource Counts.”
Picandet explained: “We are now presenting our brand to recognize how our business areas and our customers are stronger together. Our revised brand story also reflects how TOMRA Food has set out on a more clearly defined path by reformulating strategy in the last couple of years. This strategy is based on three pillars: on growth, to grow the business faster and better; on excellence, to be best-in-class in everything we do; and on talent, to take care of our people and support their development. Updating our brand story will also help attract new talent to TOMRA.”
At the second of the four media hotspots, TOMRA Fresh Food introduced a new robotic packing machine, the KETE16. This is the first robotic packer capable of matching the speed and capacity of the fastest clamshell and punnet fillers while also offering flexibility in pack type and case configuration.
The KETE16 diverts a single stream of punnets into four streams, presents the packages to be picked up according to configuration, then packs the product (anything from fruit, vegetables, confectionary, nuts, etc.) into punnets and clamshells. A scalable design can add automation to everything from small operations to large-scale packing facilities and keep pace with the CURO16, the fastest Fill by Weight option on the market.
At the third of the four media hotspots, TOMRA Processed Food launched the TOMRA 5C premium sorting machine with biometric signature identification technology for frozen Fruits and Vegetables. This machine is located on the processing line between the IQF tunnel and the packing station to make final checks for food safety and product quality. The sorter recognizes and removes any remaining foreign material, extraneous vegetable matter, and hard-to-detect product defects. Compared to its predecessor, the Nimbus, the TOMRA 5C further enhances sorting efficiency and yields; is easier to clean and to keep running in optimum condition; and has a 5 to 10 percent greater capacity.
So that members of the media could witness the impressive capabilities of the TOMRA 5C – and see how the TOMRA Insight data platform adds value to processing – TOMRA’s fourth hotspot staged a demonstration of the machine. Broadcast online and live from TOMRA’s Test Center in Leuven, Belgium, this was one of four demonstrations run over the three days of the exhibition.
The TOMRA 5C was tasked with sorting IQF green beans, IQF mixed Vegetables, and IQF Fruits. Each demonstration showed how this premium sorter detects and ejects typical FM (foreign material) and EVM (extraneous vegetable materials), including hard-to-find product defects. The audience in Berlin was encouraged to put questions to the engineers in Belgium.
Online machine demonstrations have become popular with potential purchasers of TOMRA’s machines during the COVID-19 pandemic because they can be conducted remotely and with total transparency. These tests conclude with the production of a highly detailed report of the test results.