Driscoll's Soren Bjorn Discusses Vitality of Technology for the Industry

Mon. June 26th, 2017 - by Laura Hillen

WATSONVILLE, CA – There are a lot of factors that go into remaining a successful berry brand in the U.S. and throughout the globe. For Driscoll’s, one important part, amongst many, is the use of technology. Not only to boost its own operations, but to uplift the industry as a whole.

Driscoll's Berries

As Driscoll’s retains its drive as a leader in the industry, President of Driscoll’s of the America’s Soren Bjorn joined me to discuss why farming innovations and technology are at the forefront of the company’s future strategies.

Soren Bjorn, President, Driscoll’s of the Americas“Technology has always been a key part of the Driscoll’s vision, but there are issues that are becoming more pressing past just those that are most common, like breeding aspects,” Soren shares. “There are other parts of the business that we can improve. Especially as labor availability becomes limited around the globe, we can look to technology to really answer that demand.”

Rather than replace its human counterparts, Soren assures me, robotics are able to add the workable means of human hands in areas where they are not available, in addition to making this work more attractive to a wider workforce. By rounding out gaps in the labor force, robotics are able to make work easier than it is today for companies, their employees, and the industry at large.

“What uplifts the industry, uplifts us,” Soren continues. “One way we can stay super efficient in our supply chain is tracking cold chain shipments. As costs and wages rise, we’ve started using technology in the Middle East to ensure loads are saved as temperatures change in transit, rather than losing an entire shipment. Efficiency is just as helpful to the customer as it the end consumer.”

Driscoll's Workers Alongside the Agrobot

Driscoll’s implements its own forward-thinking tech in a variety of applications. At its Santa Maria facility, the company uses a mechanical strawberry planter while its current crops are harvested times in order to place next year’s crop in the ground. In the Agrobot, the company is able to harvest more strawberries from its same amount of acreage, gaining more product by complementing its traditional harvesting methods with technology. Driscoll’s is also looking towards a new industry interest in trimming nursery plants by mechanical means.

So, where is Driscoll’s and its focus on tech headed from here? Soren says that the company keeps a close eye on new tech it can implement from Europe and Australia, as well as how technology can help throughout the rest of the company. 

Driscoll's Berries

“We have dedicated people on our team who travel the world, and see how new and innovative means can help Driscoll’s and the agriculture community in general,” Soren finishes. “There are other parts to improving a business, and we see technology as a huge tool for answering rising demands.” 

As Driscoll’s keeps an eye on tech to bring to its own company in addition to spreading it round the world, continue to count on AndNowUKnow for the latest in innovative methods.