With Covid-19 still disrupting our lives, CRI was forced to host the very popular CRI Postharvest Workshops online this year. The six two-day workshops held across the country normally attract over 1 000 delegates and is a wonderful tech transfer, networking and social opportunity for packhouses, sponsors and presenters alike. By Catherine Savage
Each sponsor had a landing page on https://events.citrusres.com/ where they could advertise their products, and delegates could ask to be contacted.
Sponsors were as follows:
ICA International Chemicals
Corruseal, Citrosol, AgroFresh, ArcAqua, Meridian Agritech, Reemoon SA, Everst and JBT Food Tech.
Label Pro and H.B. Fuller.
Hannes Bester chaired all three sessions and thanked the sponsors for helping to make the webinar possible.
The 2021 CRI Postharvest Workshop was a much quieter affair with no goody bags, happy hours or sponsored coffee breaks. However, all things considered (and as CRI’s fi rst-ever attempt at a webinar), the day went surprisingly well. The first challenge was to cut back the agenda and some of the talks to be more reasonable for an online event. Though, the most important topics were still covered over three sessions, namely an introductory and strategic, market access and packaging, and a packhouse practices session, each in manageable 90-minute individual mini-webinars.
The main sponsor of the event, ICA, started the proceedings for session one, then the Citrus Growers’ Association (CGA) took to the virtual stage to talk about the future of citrus exports, the ports and shipping logistical plans. They wrapped up with the CGA’s food safety and sustainability strategic plan. The future is not without its challenges, but packhouses can feel secure that the CGA is working hard to keep our industry moving forward.
Despite a shortened agenda, the most important topics were still covered in an introductory and strategic session; as well as market access and packaging; and packhouse practices sessions.
The second session focused heavily on false codling moth (FCM) and market access related issues, as well as the risk FCM presents within our market access dynamics. This includes the very important role of cold shipping according to the FMS protocol. However, cold shipping comes with its own set of problems and we were lucky to have experts on hand to discuss the best practices for not only shipping itself, but also the treatment of the fruit for the best level of protection. In line with this is, of course, the correct use and type of packaging which should never be neglected.
Rounding off the day was the more practical and equally important session on packhouse practices, which covered chlorine use in the packhouse, and the very exciting work CRI is doing into imazalil fungicide replacements. Two postharvest diseases were highlighted: sour rot and brown rot, and how to control them. The day ended with some solid information on research into controlling pallet rot.
Each session had a Q&A portion where attendees could type their questions in the chat box and the presenters were in the wings to answer them on camera. Interesting information was also gathered from the polls that were run during the sessions.
The CRI Postharvest webinar was something new and exciting, although everyone hopes to meet in person again soon.