Following a £1.5m investment, a new piece of kit at an agricultural business near Boston is helping it select the best examples of a festive favourite and in less time.
Christmas Day may not be until Monday, but T. H. Clements, in Benington, has a new toy – a state-of-the-art optical grading machine.
The technology is capable of taking hundreds of 360 degree sprout photographs per second and is helping the business select the best ones and get them onto supermarket shelves quicker than ever.
The business is a supplier for Tesco and in the run up to Christmas Day such machines will photograph about 180 million sprouts to go on sale on the supermarket’s produce aisles.
The investment at T. H. Clements means 97 per cent of all sprouts sold by the supermarket are now photographed.
Tesco sprout expert Rob Hooper said: “Thanks to the latest technology our customers will be able to buy the very best tasting and freshest sprouts available on British high streets.
“Most importantly for customers though is that these machines speed up the grading procedure which drastically cuts the time by which we can get sprouts from farm to fork. So however you do Christmas, we’ve got your dinner covered.”
Richard Mowbray, of T.H. Clements, said: “With the help of a European Rural Development Grant we are really pleased with the investment in the new grading equipment which has exceeded our expectations, increasing our production capacity.
“While at the same time improving the quality for our consumers, it has helped us to capitalise on sales opportunities and create extra jobs in the local area. We believe it will give us a strategic advantage in the industry for the future.”