English orchards 1st
to use robotic technology to pack apples in efficiency push
ENGLISH apple growers are among the1st in the world to use robotic technology in order to drive efficiencies
across the entire production process. In a technological transformation of
the industry, this year's crop is the first to benefit from these recent
English growers, competing in a tough market, are utilising the latest
technological innovations to produce apples as cost effectively as possible
whilst maximising taste and fruit quality. Today, the 1st day of the 'official'
English apple season, and when the most popular apple varieties are
beginning to appear in the shops, marks a further advance in the continuing
growth of the English industry.
Famed for generations for their unrivalled flavour and taste, this year's
total crop of English grown eating apples will reach 160,000 tonnes, the
highest tonnage in over 20 years and will contain the largest amount of both
Gala and Braeburn varieties ever produced.
The 2015/16 crop will also see the highest yield of very newest varieties
including Jazz, Zari, Kanzi, Opal, Junami, Cameo and Reubens, collectively
45% higher than last year. In recent years the changing 'palate'
British consumers has demanded sweeter, juicier and crunchier apples
together with more vibrant skin colour than traditional varieties.
Whilst automatic technology is used for the precise weighing and packing of
the apples at the end of the production process, this represents only one
element of the new technology which is shaping the industry.
How technology is propelling the apple from the tree to the till… in 7
In modern orchards apples are grown on a continuous 'hedgerow' system
instead of widely spaced trees making picking more efficient and increasing
Pruning, as well as thinning of the fruit when in blossom, is partly
undertaken by machines to reduce hand pruning and thinning.
Picking of the apples is now undertaken by pickers who stand behind safety
bars on trailers that form a train pulled by tractors. Each trailer carries
a bin into which the picked apples are placed thus eliminating time lost by
walking to bins and allowing pickers to reach the entire crop without the
use of ladders.
When apples reach packhouses they are now graded by high tech cameras. Each
apple is photographed more than 50 times to check for its size, shape,
colour, blemishes and other irregularities. Any discarded fruit goes to
cider or juice making. Simultaneously, an infra-red system is used to check
the inside of each apple, without penetrating the skin, to ensure there are
no internal defects.
The water used to move the fruit in the packhouse is now filtered and then
purified by UV light which enables it to be used for up to 6 months, rather
than being replaced every few days, thus effecting a huge saving in water.
The storage of the apples takes place in low oxygen, temperature controlled,
specialist chambers which are computer controlled to maintain constant
conditions. This reduces the speed at which the apples mature, effectively
putting them into hibernation so they are maintained in peak condition and
do not rot or become over-mature.
Weighing and packing of apples into poly bags is undertaken by automatic
systems, whilst robotic systems are being used to handle packed boxes of
apples and to load them onto pallets ready for transportation to customers.
Adrian Barlow, Chief Executive of English Apples commented:- "These
high tech innovations show the continued investment by the industry and the
commitment to produce apples in England of the highest quality. Whilst
continuing to retain and even develop further our world beating flavour we
need to be employing every modern technique to produce apples as cost
–efficiently as possible. We urge consumers to look of the Union Jack label
on apples – their reassurance that they are buying the finest tasting apples
whilst supporting both local and the national economies."
Unexplained death of woman in her 40's
MERSEYSIDE Police have confirm that Police Officers
were called to flats in Southport after the body of a woman was found on
Thursday, 10 September 2015. Police Officers were called to a flat on Royal
Terrace, at around 5.15am, to a report of an unexplained death. The patrols
who attended the property found the body of a woman in her 40's. The woman
was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. We where last informed by
Merseyside Police that her next of kin were still in the process of being
informed, so at that stage no formal identification had taken place. A post
mortem examination is being carried out to establish the cause of the
woman's death. Detectives in Sefton CID have now launched an investigation
to establish the full circumstances.
Detective Inspector Cheryl Rhodes said:- "Our enquiries into this
incident are still at a very early stage and we are working hard to
establish the full circumstances. I would appeal to anyone with information
about the incident, however small, to get in touch with us as a matter of
urgency." The property was cordoned off to allow a forensic examination of the scene
and house to house inquiries are being carried out. A 51 year old man, from
Southport has been arrested in relation to the incident. He was taken to a
Police Station on Merseyside where he was questioned by Officers. Anyone with information is urged to call detectives in Sefton
CID on:- 0151 777 3055, or via 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on:- 0800
British Music Experience to
LIVERPOOL'S reputation as the home City
of rock and pop heritage has been cemented as it welcomes Britain's only museum
of popular music.
The British Music Experience (BME) is heading to the City after a 5 year run at
London's O2 and will be making its new home in the iconic Cunard Building,
positioned as one of Britain's most compelling attractions.
Mayor Joe Anderson and BME Chairman Harvey Goldsmith CBE have joined forces to
bring the attraction to Liverpool, which will see more than 600 rare BME music
heritage archive items go on display in the former Departure Lounge location.
The unrivalled collection of music artefacts and memorabilia includes some of
David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust costumes and the original handwritten lyrics to
Blue Monday by New Order. The museum will also pay homage to the impact British
music has had on the culture, fashion, art and politics of the time.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said:- "This is a fantastic addition to
the City's existing attractions and it makes perfect sense that a museum which
celebrates the importance of British music and its influence on society, has its
home in Liverpool.
Music is inherent here and is entwined with the City's history, present and
future. The Cunard Building itself played a vital role in shaping the industry
thanks to the music that travelled across the Atlantic by those travelling on
the Cunard Vessels. This music then immersed itself in our culture and
influenced many aspiring musicians, including four young men who wanted to
perform their own rock 'n' roll and then went on to become the most famous band
in the world.
It's wonderful to be able to work in partnership with such an influential figure
as Harvey and add another dimension to our tourism offer which will benefit
existing businesses and boost the local economy. Undoubtedly, BME will be hugely
popular as music is a major cultural driving force in the City and I look
forward to seeing the project taking shape over the forthcoming months."
The BME is expected to create around 35 jobs and attract thousands of new
visitors to the region. It will open Easter 2016.
Chair of the BME, Harvey Goldsmith, said:- "The trustees of the British
Music Experience are thrilled to have partnered with the City of Liverpool and
to have found a permanent home for the UK's collection of rock and pop
memorabilia and artefacts.
The historic Cunard Building on the shores of the Mersey represents the perfect
home. The transatlantic voyage and the back and forth shared between the UK and
USA plays a significant role in the story the Museum tells.
Liverpool is the natural home for the BME and we hope to enrich the City's
current music heritage offering and further solidify the City as a worldwide
music heritage destination."
Using the Museum's interactive approach, visitors will be able to trace historic
and era defining moments and experience what it may have felt like to be part of
them. An interactive instrument studio will allow people to unleash the rock 'n'
roll within them, others can learn how to Vogue in the dance booth or perhaps
flick through virtual record collections.
Tablets and smartphones can also be used to unlock the display cases and listen
to tracks, learning the secrets kept behind the glass doors.
With an amazing comprehensive archive of iconic images and footage, visitors can
immerse themselves in the history of British music, which created some of the
world's most influential artists.
The BME will also have a café and a shop providing a range of desirable music
and pop culture related products. From rock heritage merchandise to drumstick
pencils, the shop offers a range of price points and trendy retro music heritage
merchandise, including a curated selection of vinyl records.
Additionally, the BME will host Learning and Public Programmes to further enrich
the museum experience and reach, through a range of events; from educational
workshops for school children tied to the national curriculum, to master classes
and gigs hosted by industry experts. It will also offer a unique and engaging
venue for corporate events and after parties.
The British Music Experience is a registered not-for-profit charity with the
purpose of advancing the education and appreciation of the art, history and
science of music in Britain (registered charity no.1125752). The BME is managed
by an independent Board of Trustees and chaired by Harvey Goldsmith, CBE.
It is being partially funded by a £2.6m Regional Growth Fund investment.
A procurement process is underway to secure an operator to run the museum
alongside the Trust. The admission price for the tickets is to be decided in the
For further information on the BME please visit:-
Roadworks at Smithdown Road junction
MOTORISTS are being warned about 11 weeks of roadworks
at a major junction in Liverpool.
During the works from Saturday, 12 September 2015, until the end of November
will be lane restrictions and temporary traffic lights at the Smithdown
Road/Ullet Road junction, with Ullet Road and Greenbank Drive closed to
vehicles at the junction with Smithdown Road, in Liverpool. Signed diversions will be in
When the work is complete, it will create a much better junction with two
lanes of traffic into the City instead of 1, and improved pedestrian
A Liverpool City Council spokesman said:- "We know that this work
will cause some short term disruption for local residents and motorists but
the end result will be a much improved junction."
The works form the 1st Phase of the Smithdown Road scheme, which will also
see the section of road between Gainsborough Road and Allerton Road
resurfaced as part of Phase 2, which will commence in the New Year.
The project is part of a wider £1.9 million scheme included in the City's
£80 million investment in highways over the next 5 years.