The recent acquisitions of Odenberg and Best as well as investments in sites, new products and personnel are paying dividends with higher quarterly sales for Norwegian-owned Tomra Sorting Food this year.

Orders for the six-month period ending June 30 were well ahead of the same time in 2013, according to a news release.

When Tomra purchased Dublin, Ireland-based Odenberg in 2011, it also received unique patented technology and leading positions in several food sorting and processing industry segments.

The acquisition of Leuven, Belgium-based sorting manufacturer Best Kwadraat NV in 2012 further expanded Tomra’s technology portfolio.

South America provided growth for the company during the first half of 2013, while North American and European sales remained robust.

Business in Asia continued to expand as more staff and resources were moved there.

Steven Van Geel, former market unit manage for tobacco, was named sales director for China. At the same, Sean Slevin was named as sales director for other parts of Asia, including Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, India and the southeast.

Although industry worldwide appears to have recovered from the recession, customers still remain focused on cost-effectiveness and addressing labor-supply issues, according to the release

“Another factor influencing the need for our products is the supply of labor. It’s not just the cost anymore with availability becoming an increasing problem,” Ashley Hunter, senior vice president and head of Tomra Sorting Food, said in the release, “Urbanization is reducing the number of people left to do manual sorting and control in areas where food is grown and processed.”

Tomra Sorting Food supplies equipment used in more than 150 applications and sold in more than 80 countries.