As consumer demand for shelf-stable foods including frozen fruit and vegetables has soared, one company has managed to successfully ride the wave of increased product demand. The family-owned company Fine Food, based in Turkey, has not ceased production or any of its global export operations for a single day so far. The company attributes this resilience to the technological edge that it retains over its competitors.
“We are the only business with Bühler’s SORTEX® FA series machines in Turkey and we believe that puts us in a very strong position in the market, Mehmet Berk Goztepe, Export sales representative at Fine Food said.
Established in 1994, Fine Food has over 200 employees working across three factories in the Marmara region of Turkey; a new facility dedicated exclusively to the production of frozen French fries is currently under construction in the Emirdağ district. The company has a portfolio of approximately 20 individually quick frozen (IQF) fruit and vegetable products, 12 of which are vegetables that are either grown and harvested on Fine Food’s own lands, or by contract farmers around the Yenişehir and Bursa provinces. A total of 70-80 million kilograms of sweetcorn, green beans, peas, spinach, strawberries and cherries are processed by the company every year.
“With 11 sorters in total, our sorter infrastructure is far more advanced than others, something that not many Turkish processors can say,” Goztepe added. One of the major contributors to Fine Food’s advanced sorting infrastructure is its manufacturing partner Bühler who supplies the majority of the sorters for the company’s IQF products. The company began its relationship with Bühler by adding SORTEX E1D optical sorting machines to its portfolio. With the E1D machines, Fine Food is able to take advantage of high-resolution cameras and proprietary detection technologies to ensure maximum food safety.
Following the performance and stability of the E1D machines, Fine Food decided to invest in Bühler’s latest technology to meet its growing IQF product capacity needs. With the SORTEX FA2 machine’s FDA approved adjustable 1200-mm chute, Fine Food is now able to process double the amount of product than before: 14 tonnes per hour. The FA2 machines are specially designed to meet stringent Western Europe and USA product safety requirements. Thus with 70% of their products exported to international markets including Europe, North America, the Balkans, the Middle East and East Asia, Fine Food trusts that its buyers’ needs will be satisfied and that a superior quality and consistent final product will always be delivered. The FA2 machines are also equipped with Bühler’s renowned SORTEX PolarVision detection system which combines two pioneering technologies for unmatched FM removal: PolarCam™ technology and high definition InGaAsHD cameras.
Goztepe concludes by mentioning that if the company has scope for future investment it will be returning to Bühler. “We only use the world’s best brands. The Fine Food philosophy is that if we are happy with a particular manufacturer, we will preserve that relationship and that is definitely true of our partnership with Bühler.”