Agritech R&D Firm Secures Funding for Apple Waste Reduction Project


Agritech business B-hive Innovations has partnered with premier UK fresh fruit grower Adrian Scripps Ltd to secure Innovate UK research funding. The project aims to accelerate innovation within the agricultural sector.

The 12-month initiative will provide apple growers with enhanced insights into the size, quantity, and variations of their crops at harvest. This data will empower growers to make informed decisions regarding crop utilization.

The research project seeks to expand the capabilities of B-hive’s flagship technology, HarvestEye. This technology already offers crop-level sizing insights for potato and onion farmers.

Project co-leads are Mercedes Torres Torres, Head of Machine Learning at B-hive, and James Simpson, Managing Director of Adrian Scripps. Initial work is underway, testing a variety of produce.

Torres commented, “At B-hive, our goal is to provide growers with the tools necessary for sustainable growth, increased marketable yields, and reduced waste. We’ve demonstrated this with potato growers for years with trusted technologies that improve root crop forecasting. Expanding this technology to include fresh produce is an exciting challenge requiring modifications to both hardware and software for optimal results.”

Simpson added, “Early, reliable information on the size and quantity of our apple crop is essential for meeting retail demands, which often center on specific product sizes. We are honored to help develop this revolutionary technology and grateful for Innovate UK’s support in this venture.”

B-hive aims to integrate apple sizing and counting into HarvestEye later in the 2024 harvest season, after the research program concludes. Testing will begin in late 2023.

B-hive’s General Manager, Andrew Gill, stated, “This research is both an evolutionary step for HarvestEye and a strategic move for B-hive into new agricultural sectors. We look forward to assisting even more fresh produce growers with their technological needs.”

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