Compac, a New Zealand-based world leader in post-harvest integrated solutions and services to the fresh produce industry, last month announced the official opening of its European headquarters in Valencia, Spain. With more than 80 staff the new facility serves as a regional base for Compac’s manufacturing, sales, services and in-market research and development across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa and houses Compac’s global center of excellence for citrus, the company said in a press release.
“Centers of Excellence are a key component of Compac’s growth strategy, harnessing in-market research and development, in partnership with its customers, to develop innovative solutions to meet current and anticipate future needs. By leveraging local technical expertise and insights, and regular customer engagement, Compac ensures that new products perform well under the rigors of customers’ unique, local operational conditions. It also receives valuable, timely feedback into desired product enhancements and input for its longer-term research and development roadmap,” it said.
Compac director, David Buys has led the set-up and opening of the new facility, which comprises four manufacturing bays across 3800 m2 of floor space, and represents a significant long-term investment in and commitment to the European market, building on the company’s existing regional strength in citrus, cherries and stonefruit. Equipment manufactured in Spain can now be with customers within days of leaving Compac’s Valencia center. Additionally, the facility houses seven after-sales support and training staff, augmented by local distributors in Italy, Israel and Turkey meaning technical support staff can be anywhere within the region within 24 hours.
Commenting on the opening of the facility, Compac’s CEO, Mike Riley, said: “The establishment of a European headquarters builds on our already significant regional footprint and is critical for meeting our customers’ evolving and growing needs. Europe is one of the most sophisticated and demanding markets for fresh produce and represents an excellent opportunity for the types of solution Compac can offer in terms of automation, food trust and traceability, as well as optimization of final packed product for retail.”
Riley added, “The enhanced performance Compac can provide customers with our new platforms, such as Spectrim, is unmatched in the market. With a strong European presence, a commitment to partnering with customers over the long-term, and the ability to provide on-site training and technical expertise at short notice, we feel confident in our ambitious regional growth plans in the next few years.”
Compac has recently secured a number of orders for its new optical sorting platform, Spectrim. With the ability to take up to 500 high definition images of a single piece of fruit as it passes through the machine at a rate of 12 pieces of fruit a second, Spectrim detects the hardest to find, external blemishes on fruit, delivering unrivalled grading accuracy and consistency. Compac expects to see strong and growing demand for the technology as companies look to upgrade from their current equipment to new, future-proofed platforms.
Compac’s Valencia facility is complemented by its sales and service office, based in Cesena, Italy. The first Compac solutions manufactured from this location have already been sold to Garcia Aranda, one of the largest lemon producers in Europe, and an exclusive supplier to Lidl supermarkets, as well as a major fruit producer in South Africa.