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AI in the fresh produce trade

a man behind a small greenhouse in the exhibition stand

Noam Dekel, Product Manager, Grow Director

If Elad Mardix, CEO and co-founder of Clarifruit, is right, then with the gradual introduction of AI-based technologies the fresh produce business is facing a transformation on the same scale as previously with digitalisation. At the Farming Forward Stage, he demonstrated how his Clarifruit software can help reduce food waste and with it the financial losses for seed growers, producers, marketing companies and retailers.

The software establishes uniform standards for assessing quality. It ensures the inspection process is objective and provides real-time data, based on which factual decisions can be made, for example to whom to sell goods. In order to find out more about the new features of Clarifruit – including an automatic fault finder and the integration of Chat GPT – a presentation is taking place daily at 3 p.m. on the company’s stand (C35) in Hall 3.1.

Tailored product development

Besides quality control, AI also plays an important role in developing and marketing new varieties. At the Fresh Produce Forum in Hall 23, Patricia Sagarminaga, group director, Marketing and Communications at AMFRESH Group, talked about how her company uses AI to analyse market demand and maximise quality. Chat GPT is being used among other things to develop new recipes for the new AMRESH breeds.

In the age of big data, supercomputers, and readily available apps such as Gen AI and Chat GPT, Dr. Paulina Drott, manager of Innovation & Research at GS1 Germany, has observed a growing acceptance of AI technology. In the fresh produce business she sees it being used in quality control and for inspecting fruit, where AI can quickly detect flaws. Predictive maintenance could also reduce outages, thereby increasing efficiency. Sensors could analyse machine data and determine ahead of time when repairs were necessary. In order to optimise supply chains, AI could make seasonal forecasts, ranging from customer preferences and the weather, to demand on public holidays. Using this data, production could be tailored, thereby saving resources. AI-based tools could be used to inspect harvests for pest infestation, or ground moisture in order to optimise irrigation.

Progress in the greenhouse

This year’s FRUIT LOGISTICA Trend Report highlights the role AI plays in vertical farming. According to the authors, greenhouse growers are among the early adopters of AI. They need to make numerous decisions on a weekly basis, which is made easier by collecting data this way. Grow Director, an exhibitor at FRUIT LOGISTICA in Hall 3.1, Stand A11, targets precisely this audience with its products. Using machine learning, they help automate plant cultivation both in a controlled environment and outdoors.