Sunnydale Farms has been growing tender fruits, such as peaches, plums, and apricots, for eight generations. Since 2014, the farm increased its acreage by 22 acres to keep up with an increased annual yield of 25.7 per cent. The challenges to overcome included assessing a process for handling a higher volume of peaches, and, accommodating retailers who want different styles of packaging.
The Research & Innovation team gathered all process data, cycle times, volumes and packing information to identify five key areas for improvement. By committing to a specific, reduced cycle time that matches the takt time required, the entire packaging process could be redesigned to achieve the goal of improved productivity while maintaining the capability of supplying all the current packaging demands and allow for future packaging redesigns. These recommendations increased productivity at Sunnydale by 18 per cent across all packing options.