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The Business of Blueberries - U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council EPISODE 38, 11th March 2021
Mechanical Harvesting: ‘No Bruising, No Losing’
00:00:00 00:31:15

Mechanical Harvesting: ‘No Bruising, No Losing’

After rethinking the mechanical harvester, FineField created a tool it deemed “The Harvy.” As opposed to mechanical over-the-row (OTR) harvesting machines, The Harvy has low investment costs and provides higher quality berries. In this episode, we talk to two industry members who were involved with the development of the Harvy and discuss how FineField came up with its innovative mechanical harvesting solution. 

Hosts Kasey Cronquist, president of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) and the North American Blueberry Council (NABC), and Rod Cook, industry veteran and the chair of the Blueberry Technology and Innovation Committee, are joined by Marcel Beelen, director of FineField in the Netherlands, and Dean Maerz of Klaassen Farms in Abbotsford, B.C.

“It was obvious [the industry] needed a product that could increase productivity, but could solve the main problem of mechanical harvesters — which is quality and loss of product. With that in mind, we said ‘OK, we need to have a guiding design principle … no bruising no losing’” - Marcel Beelen

“Nobody had really rethought [mechanical harvesting] from the ground up. And that’s what I was looking for; I was looking for a different approach, something groundbreaking. Eventually, I narrowed my search down to three companies — all three were in Europe — but the innovation at FineField stood out above the crowd to me. ” - Dean Maerz


Topics covered include: 

  • Maerz and Beelen’s backgrounds. 
  • How FineField was founded.
  • The design principles of FineField’s mechanical harvester.
  • The importance of industry feedback when developing machinery for the blueberry industry. 


Crop Report

The Blueberry Crop Report is an update on crop conditions and markets throughout North and South America. In this episode, you’ll hear from Luis Vegas in Peru. This was recorded on March 10, 2021.