Dole Sunshine Company (Dole) has embarked on an innovative commercial partnership with Clarifruit, which has developed a next-gen quality control (QC) platform for fruits and vegetables, to achieve the Dole Promise of zero fruit loss by 2025 and to reinforce its commitment to sustainability.
In a statement, Dole said that Clarifruit’s AI-powered QC software platform uses advanced computer-vision technology to automate fresh produce quality inspection and evaluation while analyzing factors such as size, color, stem color or any visible defects. The platform also helps digitize and standardize the quality control process, giving the company accurate and high-quality real-time data, as well as actionable insights.
“Clarifruit was selected for its proven track record in successfully operating its next-gen AI technologies in commercial settings, its multi-crop QC capabilities, and platform scalability,” said Barbara Guerpillon, Head of Dole Ventures, Dole Sunshine Company.“Our collaboration with Clarifruit embodies the objective of the Dole Sunshine for All® Fund, and we hope that other agri-tech start-ups that are as committed to reducing food insecurity and food waste will also apply.”
EladMardix, CEO and Co-Founder of Clarifruit, said: “Clarifruit believes that digitization and automation of QC processes are the future of agriculture. Dole is our first major client in Asia to adopt AI in its operations, and this partnership further supports our vision for all fresh produce QC to run on a single, standardized Clarifruit platform. Also, despite the pandemic and the need to deploy the solution across multiple markets and geographical distances, we were able to find incredible synergy thanks to our common ambition and ability to remotely implement our software.”
The association with Clarifruit began when Dole was setting up its Sunshine for Sunshine for All® (SFA) Fund, announced in February 2021. The US$2 million annual fund seeks to partner with young companies and start-ups to accelerate Dole’s adoption of innovation and technology and is open to applications from agri-tech start-ups around the world that will help Dole deliver on the Dole Promise.
In early 2021, Dole successfully concluded a pilot project with Clarifruit for its pineapple exports from the Philippines to six markets worldwide. The Clarifruit app is currently used at Dole’s fresh pineapple packing plants for pre-shipment inspection, as well as at the local markets for inspection upon arrival.
Since implementing the Clarifruit software, Dole has seen a more than 2X productivity increase and reduction in error-prone QC reports. In 2022, Dole plans to scale this technology to additional markets and fruit categories, including bananas, papayas, and avocados. This partnership will target a further 10% reduction in fruit loss within the next three years.
Clarifruit has built the world’s first AI-powered Quality Control (QC) software for the fresh produce industry. This end-to-end QC platform is composed of a front-end mobile app and a management and analytics dashboard that automatically identifies, collects, and analyses real-time data about fresh produce external and internal attributes.
By leveraging proprietary computer-vision technology, Big Data and analytics capabilities, it empowers the world’s retailers, wholesalers, marketing companies and growers to make data-driven business decisions. This helps them to better match supplier-buyer quality requirements, reduce waste and maximize profitability – leading to quality standardization and creating a win-win situation for all stakeholders across the supply chain.
In June 2020 Dole Asia Holdings announced the Dole Promise, with its three pillars around nutrition, sustainability, and the creation of shared value.
The first pillar is Better for People, where Dole seeks to ensure access to sustainable nutrition for 1 billion people by 2025, moving towards zero processed sugar in all Dole products by 2025.
Its second pillar Better for Planet aims to attain a zero fruit loss from Dole farms to markets by 2025, zero fossil-fuel based plastic packaging by 2025, and net zero carbon emissions in Dole operations by 2030.
Under its third and last pillar Better for all Stakeholders, Dole will continue to positively impact all farmers, communities and people working for Dole – through its commitment to equal opportunity, living wages, and an ever-increasing level of safety, nutrition, and wellbeing. The company also seeks to advance human rights within the direct operations and supply chains by building a culture of transparency and accountability.