Westfro expands capacity and ensures quality with investment in Bhlers SORTEX sorting solutions

SORTEX optical sorting technology supports quality and growth in frozen vegetable production for Belgian company.

The Bühler Group, a global leader in food processing and optical sorting solutions, has further reinforced its role in ensuring excellence in vegetable processing, with the installation of additional SORTEX optical sorting equipment at Westfro, the family-run Belgian producer of frozen vegetables, herbs and fruit.

Located in one of the best vegetable growing centers in Europe, Westfro has an annual production capacity of 95,000 tons and, for over 40 years, the company has specialized in minimizing the time between harvest and processing, in order to preserve the optimum level of vitamins, minerals and fibers in its vegetable products. This leading international player is renowned as a trustworthy and loyal partner to its supplying farmers, as well as its customers in food service, retail and industry, both at home and abroad.

“We strive for sustainable, long-term collaboration, based on excellent product quality, high flexibility and outstanding customer service. We do this through rigorous quality control and continuous investment in up-to-date technology,” said Verhelle, owner of Westfro.

As part of its recent investment in a new processing plant at its Staden site and building on many years of successful partnership, Westfro turned once more to Bühler to underpin its quality standards. With a capacity to sort 24 tons per hour of individually quick frozen (IQF) vegetables, including peas and carrots, the processing facility allows Westfro to boost its production capacity and its output significantly. In order to secure the quality of this increased throughput, Westfro opted for two Bühler SORTEX K2A optical sorters.

“We chose Bühler to provide us with the specialist sorting equipment we needed at our new site, following many years of using the SORTEX technology,” said Verhelle. “The reliability and efficiency of Bühler’s SORTEX technology, combined with the excellent local support provided by its customer care team, meant that we wanted to continue the relationship as our business expands.”

Positioned after the IQF tunnel, the SORTEX K2A optical sorters remove foreign material, misshaped or discoloured vegetables and extraneous vegetable materials such as leaves, pods or bugs.

“We congratulate Westfro on its success and its expansion, which has resulted from its excellent service and quality products. We have worked in partnership with Westfro over many years, to help the company to continue to provide customers with good quality, clean and safe food and with this new installation we look forward to continuing this relationship over the coming years,” said Stephen Jacobs, Bühler’s global product manager for fruit and vegetables.

Its ongoing positive relationship with Bühler ensures Westfro’s success in offering the high quality, consistency and throughput required to meet its customers’ demands, now and in the future, and underwrites the profitability of its operations for years to come.

Bühler’s installation of its state-of-the-art, reliable and consistent sorting solutions at Westfro substantially reinforces the company’s leading position in delivering high quality solutions for frozen vegetable production, and underpins its reputation for technology expertise and quality.

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