The work of picking cherries begins at 4:00am every morning and continues to 11:00am. Pickers are guided as to where and when to pick by picking crew supervisors.
The cherries are handpicked and placed in 20 lbs containers. These picked totes are then transported in covered bins in reefer trucks, which are cooled to a temperature of between 7 and 9 degrees Celsius. As soon as each truck is full, the cherries are driven to our Northern Cherries Inc. packing facility in Kelowna, British Columbia, which is close to most of our orchards.
The next process which begins once the cherry truck has arrived at our packing house is to run the bins containing the cherry totes through a hydrocooler before placing the bins into a pre-pack cooler.
From the pre-pack cooler, the cherries then go through a variety of steps:
After following each of these steps, the cherries are moved to a final cold storage area where they are kept at zero degree C until they are shipped on pre-cooled trucks or containers.
Northern Cherries Inc makes sure that the "cold chain" is never broken once cherries are received in our packing facility. We are proud of our state-of-the-art packing line, where we are regularly effecting upgrades and updates to our packing line in order to keep up with technology and capacity.
For the beginning of the 2017 cherry picking season, we are currently upgrading our line to incorporate a newer technology called UNITEC cluster cutters.
We at Northern Cherries Inc are very meticulous in everything we do in order to maintain the very best quality for all our cherry products.
During the packing process, our quality control staff checks samples throughout the various stages of the packing process. If the Quality Controller spots any areas that could be improved, he will let our plant supervisor know and we will implement any necessary changes in order to ensure that each packed "final box" is of the highest quality for our customers.