According to press reports, shoppers across the UK are annoyed by the smaller size of cauliflower and broccoli heads and have been complaining to retailers and taking to social media about the issue.
The reduction in head size and availability has been blamed on the cold weather experienced at the end of November which stopped crop growth just as plants were maturing.
One Asda customer claimed that they had brought a cauliflower which contained just a single floret. “I was laughing to myself. How can they allow it to go on the shelves if it’s that tiny?” Joanne Sutherland from Nottinghamshire told The Sun. Lynda Nicholson from Scotland, was also deceived by what she thought was a standard cauliflower from Morrisons. She said: “It did appear to be a medium-sized cauliflower until I took all the leaves off and it was pretty small, probably about four-five centimetres in circumference.”
Photo Credit: Occado
The post Consumers annoyed by smaller brassicas appeared first on Hort News on 21 December 2016.
Reports from Germany suggest that automatic brassica harvesting, a long held dream for many in the industry, could be one step closer thanks to new work by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF and their colleagues at ai-solution GmbH together with five other partners.
They are working on a smart harvester which it is claimed will be as selective as human pickers. The so-called VitaPanther builds on the ‘Spargelpanther’ asparagus harvesting machine developed by a previous project, with the team aiming to complete a working prototype in time for next year (2017).
Fraunhofer IFF are working on hyper spectral camera technology and programming which will ensure that the machine picks the mature and ripe crops while ai-solution GmbH in Wolfsburg are working on the actual harvester unit.
Christian Bornstein, CEO of ai-solution GmbH, explained, “Our goal is to build a module that can be adapted to the existing unit.” Farmers will only have to purchase one “vegetable harvester” in the future.
Photo Caption: The ‘Spargelpanther’ asparagus harvester.
Photo Credit: ai-solution
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