TOMRA Reports Positive Results, Sees More Growth Ahead

TOMRA Sorting Food, a unit of Asker, Norway-headquartered TOMRA Systems ASA, announced on October 28 that its business performance has been “positive” for the first nine months of the year. The Leuven, Belgium-based supplier of sensor-based food processing technology, which formerly operated as BEST and Odenberg, reported that it is reaping combined benefits of the successful launch of a number of new products and its continued investment in research and development.

tomra-blizzardThe Blizzard free-fall sorter is positioned by TOMRA as especially suited for producers of frozen vegetables and fruits.Momentum has been ongoing throughout 2015, driven by sales of Blizzard, Nimbus BSI and Sentinel II sorting systems. “Our biometric signature identification (BSI) technology, which has long been used by TOMRA’s recycling business, has also been an excellent addition to our portfolio, enabling us to lead the industry in nut sorting,” said Ashley Hunter, head of TOMRA Sorting Food.

From the Middle East to China, Southeast Asia and India, activities in emerging markets around the world are continuing to expand. “Population growth, increased food safety and quality demands in developing countries, as well as an increased desire for convenience food, mean a greater requirement for our sorting machines and technologies in these regions,” said Hunter.

A good example of this, he pointed out, is the Chinese government’s announcement regarding its focus on the country’s food supply system, which will review automation, technologies and safety. Elsewhere, TOMRA is seeing further development of the refrigerated food supply chain and a related increase in demand for frozen food in India.

“This creates opportunities for our Blizzard machine in the individually quick frozen vegetable and fruit processing sectors,” said Hunter. “We anticipate growth in developing countries as these demand factors are aligned with us expanding from a lower base in these markets.”

TOMRA Sorting Food also aims to capitalize on a variety of global trends which further increase sales of its machines in both developed and developing nations. Until now, it has installed more than 9,000 systems at the facilities of food processers, packers and growers worldwide. In addition to designing and manufacturing high-performance optical sorters and graders, the company’s expertise includes state-of-the-art peeling and process analytics systems for potato products, fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, nuts, seeds and dried fruits.

ashley-hunter-tomra-headAshley Hunter heads up TOMRA Sorting Food.“There is a worldwide requirement for improved food safety and robust traceability systems. Finite water and land resources, combined with an ever increasing population, mean we must obtain greater yields from our natural resources, including food,” said Hunter. “Labor scarcity in both developed and developing countries, where people either do not want to undertake food processing work or move away from rural agricultural areas to cities, also presents us with opportunities to introduce our machines.

“Advancements in technology mean that the use of satellite imagery and real-time data will increasingly be utilized to enhance the efficiency of the journey from field to fork. We are constantly evaluating ways to utilize these trends and technologies to the benefit of our customers and the environment.”

Meanwhile, the TOMRA team recognizes that the global marketplaces it serves are not without challenges, with a number of political and economic situations requiring particular attention.

“Russia’s continued food sanctions on the West, Greece’s economic crisis and China’s recent market instability all bring their distinct set of issues which we must address,” said Hunter. “We do this by remaining agile and responsive to market and territory conditions. There are always opportunities to be identified within these situations, and we will continue to seek them out for the benefit of our customers.”