First Fresh NZ
The business was established in the late 80s, when the company’s founder, who was involved in growing and packing, decided he might as well do the marketing too.
First Fresh NZ has developed a strong reputation for high-quality fruit and has continued to grow, with more and more services, capabilities, and growers supplying the company.
We are using Spectre out in the field, visiting growers that are harvesting fruit, and using Spectre to give us an estimate of the fruit size that’s in the bins prior to it coming into the packhouse.
Most of our field service teams that are out there providing field service support to growers have the Spectre app on their phones. So when they’re visiting growers, it’s really easy to take some photos, get the results, report back in real-time to the grower, and have that information flow back into our system as well.
We also have a product manager for every crop whose role is to procure and market their fruit. They’re having similar touch points with growers and using the technology.
We find the growers really value Spectre; getting that real-time feedback about what's going into the bin is certainly beneficial, particularly if they’re using contract labour.
If there is a size limitation that the pickers should be adhering to, growers are able to make adjustments on the fly and say to the picking crew, 'Hey, we're getting 10% undersized fruit, we need you to up your game. You need to leave that fruit behind because in two to three weeks, it will be that much bigger,' which puts it into a higher paying return bracket for the grower.
That can make a positive difference to their bottom line and we’re all about supporting that.
Now, with Spectre, we have a lot more certainty. When we have fruit coming into the packhouse, we’re able to say, where does the size profile sit? Where does that grower sit amongst all the other growers of that variety? And we can mix and match to suit our requirements in terms of packing and marketing to ensure our customers receive the best fruit.
Also, the more data we can build up between growers and within growers, well, that gives us some really good data to play with going forward.
Oranges and lemons are the fruits we predominantly use Spectre for, mainly because they are the ones that are most size sensitive.
They're also the fruit types where we have the biggest volume going to export markets, so we need to be as accurate as we can be in terms of the size profile because our customers have such different requirements around size. Spectre helps us to prioritize in terms of which customers we might pack for, and in what particular order.
If we have a customer who prefers large-sized fruit, having the Spectre data means we can go, ‘Grower X and grower Y have a good proportion of large-sized fruit, let's pack those guys for those particular orders because we know we will get a high proportion of fruit that fits that required size profile.’
When we were introduced to Hectre, Spectre wasn't being used for citrus, so we were really the testing partner for it. Our Field Service Manager, Matthew Carter, spent a lot of time with the Hectre team when our guys were getting the models up and running.
Industry-wise, we were very much at the forefront. We recognized the value Spectre could provide and adopted it early. It’s a great place to be—in on the ground level for these sorts of things and gaining an advantage early.
The support has always been really good, but it’s more than that. It's the relationship between the two companies; Hectre’s willingness to help us and our willingness at First Fresh NZ to help Hectre, that the relationship is built on.