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Safe and efficient transport of bell peppers with the Pepper Shuttle Harvesting System

Van der Burg bell pepper nursery in Est recently commissioned the ‘Pepper Shuttle Harvesting System’ of Berg Hortimotive. This system allows the efficient harvesting of bell peppers at a height – with a minimum risk of damage – and subsequently their unmanned transport to the sorting area. The idea of doing this by combining a shuttle with a scissor lift trolley comes from owner Johan van der Burg and Berg Hortimotive. BHM translated it pragmatically into an ergonomic, robust and practical solution.

Van der Burg bell pepper nursery is located in rural Est near Geldermalsen. The sustainable nursery is committed to a high-quality product and therefore makes every effort to deliver fruit in perfect condition. In order to get bell peppers into the harvest container intact, in the past use was made of so-called ‘picking chutes’.

Working at height
When Johan van der Burg decided to expand, it called upon his innovative capacity. The new greenhouse was higher and picking chutes would pose too great a risk of damage. Johan van der Burg: ‘It might be possible to use an AGV scissor lift trolley. This allows you to take the container up with you and then let it drive automatically filled with peppers to the sorting area. However, these trolleys are quite expensive and besides, when they drive to the sorting area, you cannot use them for harvesting. And to purchase every AGV scissor lift trolley in duplicate is simply not a financial option’.

Best of both worlds
Whether it was fate or pure luck: when Johan van der Burg opposed his request to Royal Brinkman and Berg Hortimotive, he found that these companies were already working on an appropriate solution. What was missing, however, was a party where the solution could be tested in practice. A partnership was soon clinched and the engineers of Berg Hortimotive – with the same drive for quality as Johan van der Burg – got to work.

The specialists in smart logistics solutions for growers soon came up with the Pepper Shuttle Harvesting System. In this solution, the harvest container is on a shuttle which – together with other shuttles – is easily transported by an electric tractor. This shuttle is driven over the scissor lift trolley. Here, the scissor lift trolley is in its lowest position and at that moment, it still offers plenty of room for the employee.

The scissor lift trolley, including shuttle and container, can now drive into the path on the pipe rail system. When the worker has to harvest at a height, the container will automatically move along upwards with the platform, while the shuttle itself remains below on the scissor lift trolley undercarriage. Hans Fakkert, commercial technical specialist at Berg Hortimotive: ‘This is a safe solution because the centre of gravity of the setup stays close to the ground. Also when a container is filled with bell peppers at a height’.

When the container is full, the scissor lift trolley moves downwards and drives out of the path again. Here it descends to the lowest position, delivers the container onto the shuttle and can then – with an empty container and shuttle – again drive into the path for harvesting work. The shuttle with the full container is attached to other shuttles, and to a BeTrac induction electric tractor and drives automatically over an induction route to the sorting area.

Satisfied user
Johan van der Burg: ‘It is good to see how this fine partnership has led to this solution. As soon as we started harvesting, the Pepper Shuttle Harvesting System was ready in Est. My staff quickly learned how they could easily work with the shuttles and the empty and full containers. Much respect. As if they are crates of a few kilogrammes’.

Meanwhile, the shuttles are also being used by other companies and Berg Hortimotive is further developing the concept into a fully automated solution with AGVs. This can also be used for routes that are more complex.

Hereby the link to the PepperShuttle product video:

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Israel announces creation of global seed company

Two Israeli seed producers, Nirit Seeds and TomaTech, have joined forces to create Israel’s largest vegetable seed company. This synergy will enable unique seed breeding research and development that will accelerate the company’s growth in the international seed markets.

Upon completion of the merger, the company will have more than 80 employees worldwide, including molecular biologists, breeders, agronomists, and others.
The company will improve its breeding activities in Israel, Spain, Mexico and Italy, as well as significantly expand its representation in the Netherlands and North America, with a particular focus on growing vegetables in high-tech greenhouses.

Nirit Seeds is one of the most successful internationally traded tomato and pepper seed producers, investing in the development of revolutionary genetic technologies. TomaTech is one of the leading tomato seed companies in Israel, developing premium varieties, including those resistant to the dangerous Tomato Brown Ruffle Virus (ToBRFV).

The production of crop seeds is one of the most advanced and high-tech sectors in Israel. According to the Seed Department of the Federation of Israel Chambers of Commerce, seed exports currently generate $200 million in annual revenue. There are about 25 large and medium-sized companies in the local industry.

For reference. According to market research, the global vegetable seed industry is valued at $8 billion a year and is growing at a CAGR of 8%.

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Karachay-Cherkessia became one of the leaders in the production of greenhouse vegetables at the end of 2021


Greenhouse vegetable production in 2021 reached a record 1.4 million tonnes. According to the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, the leaders among the regions in this segment are the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, Lipetsk, Moscow, Kaluga, Volgograd, Novosibirsk, Saratov, Chelyabinsk regions, Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories, the Republics of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan. These regions account for more than 60% of the total production in the country. The intensive development of greenhouse projects in our country helps to provide Russians with fresh vegetables all year round. Last year, the harvest in winter greenhouses updated the 2020 record – more than 1.4 million tons of products were received. Including the production of cucumbers amounted to at least 830 thousand tons, and tomatoes – 590 thousand tons. It is expected that by 2025 the volume of vegetable production in year-round greenhouses will be at least 1.6 million tons of vegetables.


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December: Special Year Overview

In 2022, it will be 22 year since the new millennium started. Can’t believe it? Neither can we, but it is true. Before we go there, it is time to reflect on what has happened this year. Over the next couple of weeks, we will look back at 2021 and we will highlight the most important events that impacted the industry.

New greenhouses, events, even a few shows, technical novelties, and all other relevant news will pass by, offering you something other than Covid to talk about during Christmas and New Years’.


Wish your customers Happy Holidays
This special also offers an opportunity to put your company in the spotlight with a banner in this special box. This banner can be booked until December 24 on our newsletters. For more information, feel free to send an email to: 

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