Leuven, 12.02.2019 – More than 30 journalists from all over the globe and an international crowd of industry professionals attended TOMRA Food’s press event at Fruit Logistica Berlin (Berlin Messe, 6-8 February), the leading global trade fair for the fresh fruit and vegetable business. The three-day, annual event attracts almost 80,000 visitors from more than 130 countries.
Stefan Ranstrand, TOMRA’s President and Chief Executive Officer, chose this occasion to give a speech on TOMRA Food’s exhibition stand about the company’s unique offering, values, and future aspirations. At the heart of his talk was the message that TOMRA can contribute to global sustainability by helping to reduce food waste, at the same time as enhancing the technical and economic performance of food producers.
Biggest ambition to cut food waste
“One of our big aspirations for the future is to help our customers even more to reduce food waste and improve yields,” Mr. Ranstrand said. “We are in a world with an ever-growing population, expected to
increase up to 10 billion people by 2050, and will have to produce 70% more food than we do today. Today we waste between 35% and 50% of all the food we currently produce, and that’s something we must address. We would like to see our technologies help bring much more food to the table.”
Mr. Ranstrand identified TOMRA’s two other aspirations as “being a long-term, trusted business partner” for our customers and “continuing to invest in game-changing technology.”
Talking further about customer relationships, Mr. Ranstrand cited how fruit picking-and-sorting seasons can be very short, demanding a huge amount of work to be accomplished quickly without unplanned downtime. This is why he believes the key to TOMRA’s success is working closely with customers as partners. “The most important thing is to understand the customer and give them full value, not only in sorting accuracy, but also to make sure the machine runs all the time and always delivers top performance.”
On the subject of investing in technology, Mr. Ranstrand commented that digitalization will be of utmost importance. “With inspection technologies we can look at food on the outside and the inside, and the question is how we use that data to benefit food producers and consumers.”
Data gathered during automated food inspecting and sorting is likely to be used in the future to improve farming efficiencies and the quality of products reaching consumers. Data will also give consumers the
information they increasingly desire.
Knowing details such
as the food’s provenance, sugar
composition, and the supplier’s sustainability credentials, will all help consumers make informed choices.
Technical leadership, food trust, and digital transformation
TOMRA’s exhibition stand at Fruit Logistica Berlin highlighted TOMRA Food’s three pillars: technical leadership, food trust, and digital transformation.
Through technical leadership TOMRA enables fruit, vegetable and potato producers (amongst others) to improve accuracy, efficiency, and yields. To help brands establish food trust and safeguard their reputations, TOMRA enables food producers to ensure high standards in food quality, hygiene, and traceability. And through digital transformation, data analytics are optimizing machine efficiency, reducing operational costs, and assisting food traceability.
Mr. Ranstrand explained: “By pioneering the design and manufacturing of sorters and graders of many different types and sizes, TOMRA offers technical solutions not found elsewhere. Our ability to combine different sorting technologies – color cameras, near infra-red (NIR), spectroscopy, and laser-detection – makes a difference.” The result of this unrivalled technical sophistication is that produce is accurately graded and safety-assured at the same time as reducing waste.
Innovating from a position of strength
TOMRA Food is the biggest provider of sorting and grading solutions to the food sector, with more than 8,000 units running in 80 countries. TOMRA has grown at the rate of 14% per year in the last five years, with acquisitions in the food sector further increasing the company’s international reach and financial strength. In the ten years since Mr. Ranstrand joined the company, he has led TOMRA on a transformational journey, turning a collection of entities into one strong, unified brand and making the group the world-leader in reverse vending technology and sensor-based sorting solutions for the food, recycling and mining industries.
In this year’s prestigious European CEO Awards, whose winners were announced last month, Mr. Ranstrand
was named “best CEO in the sustainable resource management industry”.