GP Graders’ founder Geoffrey Payne drew on his knowledge as an orchardist to develop fruit grading machinery that meets the exacting requirements of growers and packers.
As a result, GP Graders is the world’s leading manufacturer of cherry sorting and packing machinery and Australia’s leading supplier of fresh produce–grading machinery.
Its AirJet™ cherry grader accounts for 85 per cent of its total sales check and is used by every major cherry packer in all leading markets. The grader’s highly sophisticated camera technology categorises cherries according to size, colour, shape and defects. This process allows cherries to be sorted based on their quality and priced for different markets. The machine reduces human sorting by 60 per cent and increases sorting accuracy to 97.5 per cent.
GP Graders has customers in Canada, Chile, Greece, Turkey, the UK, the USA and mainland Europe. The company’s service-oriented approach and investment in research and development have seen exports grow from 10 per cent to 75 per cent of total sales over the past decade.
In 2013–14, GP Graders installed the world’s largest cherry grading machine and packing line in California, which can process 24 tonnes of cherries per hour, a 200 per cent throughput increase on previous machines. This product improvement contributed to record sales in North America during the year.
The company also opened an office in Chile and an assembly plant in Seattle to provide on-the-ground service to key customers and improve its sales prospects. The Seattle plant positions the company for further expansion across North and South America.
The judges said GP Graders’ R&D approach of implementing customer feedback into future product designs has allowed the company to maintain its competitive edge while providing clients with significant cost advantages.
To learn more about GP Graders and its success, read the case study