The importance of quality

At Betko we have a strong focus on quality standards throughout the packing process. This ensures that we meet the varied specifications of our markets. We pack a large variety of apples and pears with dozens of variations in terms of size, colour, shape and taste. But all of these variations have one thing in common – the need for a consistent quality standard.

Quality is the most important parameter to ensure we supply our clients with good and fresh produce that conforms to industry specifications. It plays an integral part in determining shelf life and purchasing choice for customers. It is the responsibility of our quality assurance team to make sure the fruit is harvested, stored, packed and shipped to our clients in the best possible way.

Our team has been preparing for the harvest season since December 2022. Firstly we train the team with regard to all the specific procedures. We also make sure we have the correct equipment and that everything is in working condition. The team get together in pre-harvest sessions to discuss the upcoming season and this is where additional information will be shared from a marketing perspective.

A few critical stages of the supply chain require quality inspections. It starts on the farm while the fruit is still developing and quality control is done to determine optimal harvest time based on fruit maturity or ripeness. After the harvest, the first sorting of fruits occurs on the farm, based on the ripeness level to extend storage and shelf life.

Once the fruit arrives at Betko, our quality assurance team does a thorough quality assessment that includes checking for pressure, weight, diameter, Brix (sugar) and overall skin defects.

Staying up to date with new technology enables us to have data readily available, making everyday processes considerably easier. This includes giving effortless and quick feedback to our growers, our marketing team and clients.

From what we’ve seen so far, the overall quality and colour development is better than last year. In terms of volume, we had a good yield in 2022 and in 2023 we will likely have the same outcome. It may be a bit early to predict, but it definitely looks promising!