“It’s a system, harvest to package,” Verloop said. “It includes special grading for which berries to set apart, sizing, then we triple-inspect them, do the wash and then do the packaging.”
Munger Farms added a clean room that is Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point- and Safe Quality Food-certified to produce the prototype.
“The prototype packaging was made in line with what moms would buy at retail and give to their kids,” Verloop said. “It could also work for other applications, like getting a snack pack out at work.”
Naturipe plans a full rollout at PMA’s Fresh Summit in October in Orlando, Fla., Verloop said.
“Today’s goal is to reach the customers we see are able to help us in the next stage,” he said.
The next step is a live test of the product. The company has done quality control, and now is the time to put it into a sales environment, Verloop said.
Naturipe Farms is owned by Munger Farms, MBG Marketing, Grand Junction, Mich., Hortifrut SA, Santiago, Chile, and Naturipe Berry Growers, Salinas, Calif.
Eastern Editor Doug Ohlemeier contributed to this story.