Fighting Labour Challenges with Innovative Equipment

Valley Park Farm – 100% Free-range eggs

About Valley Park Farm
Valley Park Farm is a locally owned Victorian business with its original sites located around the Goulburn River and the Great Dividing Range. Over time, the company has expanded into further regions to increase the supply of fresh, local, 100% free-range eggs to the Australian population.

The workforce problem

In Australia, the agricultural sector is highly challenged by the limited availability of labor. Additionally, free-range egg farms often require a larger workforce compared to alternative egg farming businesses.

This is raising the flag for innovative solutions that reduce manual work processes as much as possible to enhance free-range egg farming and increase their profitability. As a company with the philosophy of “Free Range By Nature” and the associated higher workload of that type of egg farming, it is no surprise that the reduction of manual processes was high on Valley Park Farm’s agenda. From de-palletizing to consumer packaging. Along their long journey, eggs have to be handled in the most gentle way to minimize damage.

Saving labor through innovative equipment

With the launch of the GraderPro 400 in 2016, SANOVO brought an egg grading machine to the market that was developed to optimize egg handling with a strong focus on a hygienic, energy-efficient grading process, while raising food processing compliance to another level with its innovative egg tracing technology.

The cleaning of machines and facilities is one of the most labor-intensive tasks in food production, and GraderPro’s extensive CIP (cleaning-in-place) integration into different sections of the grading process is cutting into this problem. Considering that, when SANOVO met with Valley Park Farm soon after the product release, the GraderPro 400 was discussed as a potential solution to supplement their egg handling and contribute to providing hygienically, healthy free-range eggs to the people.

If egg producers want to further reduce labor costs, there is no way around robotic automation. That’s why, in addition to the GraderPro 400, a SANOVO Egg De-Palletizer is the optimal supplement to reduce labor-intensive tasks, removing the need for manual tray-loading onto conveyor belts.

In mid-2019, Valley Park Farm decided to move forward with the grading solution with and around the GraderPro 400 and is the first business owning this grader in the Oceanian region. Apart from the machine itself, SANOVO's accumulated knowledge about the GraderPro's optimal setup and handling, based on all previous projects throughout Europe, ensured an efficient and successful installation and startup.

Collaboration in challenging times
Thanks to a great team of project managers, operation staff, and Field Service Engineers on both sides, we managed to complete a successful project implementation just as COVID-19 was spreading throughout the world.

The virus was something we were not prepared for, but the commitment and dedication of the team assigned to the project made the completed implementation possible regardless of the threat. The SANOVO Field Service Engineer remained at the Valley Park Farm site to give support on technical matters and to fine-tune the GraderPro 400 during the start-up period.

We are proud of the great collaboration with Valley Park Farm and want to express our gratitude for their trust and cooperation.

Labor-optimized egg handling

Fully equipped with a high capacity grader with labor-saving features, in combination with an egg handling robot, Valley Park Farm is now operating with the most innovative grading solution worldwide, backed up with a dedicated after-sales team that is there when needed to further improve the company’s egg handling operations.