Haith’s Grading System Boosts Productivity of Cornwall Potato Grower
Last year, Joe Button of E.W. Button & Son, one of Cornwall’s leading potato growers, decided to invest in a brand new, purpose-built grading facility for its early season and ware tubers.
Commissioned last month, Haith’s line, which can handle 30 tons per hour, features company’s latest innovations. The Cornish potatoes are tipped directly from the tractor-trailer into a Haith Supa-Flow Bulker. The 2.4m wide bulker features dual direct drive, double incline belt for easy loading, and a crop flow control unit where sensors control the speed of the bulker, according to a recent company press release.
The crop passes through a Haith Evolution Multi-Separator and into a Tomra 3A Optical Sorter, which removes stone, clod and green potatoes from the dirty crop before entering a series of eight Haith Supa-Flow screen graders. The screen graders feature three full-width agitators that can run at various speeds and feature dual roller screen drives and a crop unplugging roller in a maintenance-friendly yet robust construction. Once size graded, the potatoes are filled into boxes via SupaFill 400 box fillers. Controlled by a touchscreen HMI, these fillers are gentle on the crop and feature rubber door stop belts multi box height filling functionality.
As a result of the new grading line, Joe Button and his team have seen throughput speeds increase by 35% and a significant improvement in crop quality with no mechanical damage and the majority of stone and clod removed.
“Our old line was starting to show its age and was nowhere near as effective as this new Haith line,” says Joe. “Demand for homegrown produce has rocketed in the last couple of years, and we needed to invest in a new line to keep up.”
The Button family has been growing potatoes, blueberries and cereals at Tregawn Farm since they bought it in 1939. Benefitting from the coastal climate, EW Button & Sons supplies its salad, main crop and processing potatoes to major supermarkets, processors and exporters.