IT in fresh produce

The other day, I met with two young people from the subtropical fruit sector. As we settled down around the table, they brought out their smartphones.

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My cellphone, in contrast, stayed firmly in my pocket – on ‘silent’, because when I’m in a meeting, I’m afraid the world has to wait.

I was not offended that they did not think the same way. In fact, I was impressed as their fingers whizzed over the screens, producing photographs, documents and even a copy of a recent column I had written.

My phone does not boast all these wonderful aids to human communication that Peter Hughes mentions in his Managing for Profit column – at least, not as far as I can ascertain. If I touch the screen, all it does is leave a fingerprint. I felt it prudent to leave it in my pocket.

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When it comes to information technology (IT), I’m clearly still living in the Dark Ages. When I was born, none of these wonderful things existed, and more’s the pity!

Embracing new technology
My cellphone might be on the endangered species list by now – it is, after all, at least two years old – but I’m all for new technology. And I do use my phone to take photographs of fruit and vegetables, as well as pictures of packaging and transport – anything in fact that I feel would be useful in my training of market agents.

At the same meeting, I listened to a salesman describe a device that measures the water droplets coming out of a spray nozzle. Amazing! Thanks to this technology, farmers can now measure precisely how much water they use while spraying.

Following somebody on Twitter
The fundis also tell us that we have to be part of the social media scene. So I even follow some fresh produce experts, such as Tommie van Zyl from ZZ2, on Twitter, because I know them and I’m interested in what they have to say.

I refrain from commenting myself, although it’s hard to keep quiet sometimes. I also receive three or four e-publications on fresh produce from around the world. All of these are interesting and informative.

There is a lot to be said for IT in fresh produce. Now excuse me while I try to figure out what the word ‘default’ means!