One of Ireland’s leading full-service fresh produce providers has this month completed a £1.5m investment as demand for its carrots continues to grow.
Meade Farm Group, which has grown from a small potato supplier to local shops to a grower, packer and distributor of fresh produce to retailers across Ireland, has this month increased its throughput by over a third.
The increased capacity has been achieved by Haith, which designed and installed a state-of-the art carrot grading and washing line at Meade’s facility in Lobinstown, County Meath.
Taking six months to deliver, Haith’s full stainless steel line features two optical sorters, washing, de-stoning and polishing machinery.
Integrating optical grading from Newtec, which supplied a Celox optical sorter, the line is capable of handling 12 tonnes of carrot per hour.
The carrots enter the process form tipping trailers into a Haith supa-flow receiving hopper then pass through a Haith pre-soak immersion tank with integral de-stoner, which removes the heavy clay soil. A Haith SupaWash and MkIII Root Veg Polisher, with automatic rotation change for optimum brush life, follow before the field heat in the carrots’ core is lowered by a Hydrocooler. Finally, the carrots are sorted by size and quality and enter one of seven channels.
“Meade Farm has been a valued customer for several years, and as they’ve grown, they’ve asked us to design and install increasingly sophisticated packing lines for them. Meade prides itself on delivering quality produce to its customers, and our vegetable handling machinery plays a key part in this,” says Duane Hill, managing director of the double Queen’s Award for Enterprise-winning company. “Meade uses five of our root veg polishers, seven of our self-cleaning barrel washers and four Haith Rota-Tip box tipplers, and we are incredibly appreciative of their loyalty to us.”
Philip Meade Sr started selling potatoes in 1977, with the Meade Potato Company being incorporated five years later. In the years that followed, Meade’s passion for potatoes extended to Irish vegetables, including carrots and onions. The company changed its name to Meade Farm Group in 2020 to reflect the broad range of produce it supplies.
Similar to Haith, innovation is a core value of Meade Farm Group. “We believe that if you are going to be sustainable, you have to be innovative. This philosophy saw us become the first company to export Irish potatoes by boat in 1996, bring back washed potatoes in the late 1980s and repeatedly invest in our facilities and gain the benefits of using the latest in vegetable handling machinery. Duane and his team share our passion for innovation and back this up with excellent customer service. That’s why we keep trusting Haith to deliver what we need,” says Robert Devlin, Executive Director for Meade Farm Group.
To find out more about Meade Farm Group, visit www.meadefarm.ie and to learn more about Haith and its market-leading range of vegetable handling solutions, go to www.haith.co.uk, email email@example.com or call +44 (0)1302 831911.