DOWNS optical potato sorter CropVision was awarded the Gold medal in the SIMA Innovation Awards’ “From Harvest to Storage” Category.
The Innovation Awards of France’s International exhibition of solutions and technologies for efficient and sustainable agriculture (SIMA) reward the most innovative equipment, products, techniques and services. In total, 40 nominees were shortlisted in four categories.
During the digital ceremony, the jury of the prestigious SIMA Innovation Awards 2021 handed the Gold medal in the “From Harvest to Storage” Category, in which a total of eleven nominees were shortlisted, to the CropVision from designer and manufacturer of handling and storing solutions DOWNS. The judges mentioned that this new-generation optical potato sorter, used during the placement into storage of unwashed potatoes, stands out as a solution because it harnesses artificial intelligence in image analysis. ‘It thus opens up the opportunities of sorting waste, but also sorting the harvest according to quality level, with substantially better working conditions for the operation in a crop sector where the quality of crop production is a significant factor in its valuation’, Isabelle Alfano, director of the SIMA, remarked on behalf of the judging panel.
Developed with and for farmers
Upon winning the gold medal, DOWNS managing director Damien Dubrulle thanked everyone who contributed to the development and the design of the optical sorter. ‘This innovation was created and developed with farmers, for farmers. It is a product that aims to improve working conditions, reduce the amount of waste and improve farmers’ profitability. I would like to wish it a very prosperous future and based on the first sales as an indication, I’m sure the CropVision is going to be a big success’, Dubrulle said when receiving the award in the studio. In an interview with PotatoWorld magazine earlier this year, Dubrulle stated that this new generation of optical sorting machines is the solution to recurring problems that arise during the storage process: availability of labour, sorting quality, economic profitability, food safety and environmental impact. ‘Thanks to a user-friendly touch screen the CropVision is easy to use and it can be integrated into the company’s receiving hoppers and sorting machines. The price of the machine is 150,000 euros’, the managing director said.
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