Jersey’s largest grower, packer and marketer of Jersey Royal new potatoes has seen a significant reduction in labour costs this season thanks to a project undertaken with the Haith Group.
Haith Group supplied three new de-stoners at The Jersey Royal Company’s packing facility in St Saviour Jersey in February 2019.
The machines, which are part of the pre-packing area, have helped The Jersey Royal Company reduce their labour costs and potato and machinery damage through the wash plant process.
Before Haith’s Supaflume de-stoners were installed, stones were removed from the crop by hand, a time-consuming and labour-intensive process.
“Back in early autumn last year, the management team decided that we needed to automate the process in order to speed things up and reduce the labour we needed in that particular area,” says Ricky Gallon, Engineering Manager at The Jersey Royal Company Ltd.
“Having never bought a destoning machine before, we undertook quite a bit of research and shortlisted Haith along with two other companies. We visited them all, but it was Haith’s machine that stood out. We were really impressed with the quality of Haith’s machine. In fact, they took us to see one of their machines in action, and it removed every single stone from a 10-ton batch, and not one potato came out with them!”
Due to the small size of Jersey new potatoes, Haith had to undertake significant development work to ensure the de-stoners could remove the very smallest stones.
“Obviously Jersey potatoes are known for their smaller size, and due to the tight pitch webs used on the harvesters to capture all the precious potatoes it is not uncommon to find small stones mixed in with the tubers,” says Duane Hill, Sales Director at Haith Group.
“Due to the potatoes and stones having such similar densities it