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Sul Campo project: Mutti revolutionizes tomato processing

14/09/2020 - François-Xavier Branthôme - 2020 Season
InstaFactory makes it possible to work directly “in the field”

The Mutti Group is continuing its 120-year tradition of being a pioneer in the food-preserving sector with the launch of a new cutting-edge project, Sul Campo (“In the Field”).
The idea is to capture the moment of perfect ripeness directly in any given field, concentrating a whole processing plant within a space of “just” 1 000 square meters – the area of four articulated lorries. As a result, for the first time ever, it is possible to process tomatoes into passata tomato puree right where it grows – just like the name implies: “In the Field”. 
This dream has come true thanks to InstaFactory, a revolutionary mobile plant that allows the harvest and processing of tomatoes in the place where they are growing, at the optimum moment in time.
This innovation was presented on 9 September by the leaders of the Mutti group, which has once again demonstrated its focus on technological progress and research, introducing a concept in which tomatoes are no longer shipped to factories, but where a factory can be set up right there in the field. The aim is to do away with the transport stage, in order to reduce the stress imposed on fresh tomatoes and bring down to a minimum the delay between harvesting and processing. This limits to the strict minimum the environmental impact of the stages that usually precede factory delivery. A mere twenty minutes separate the harvest of the fruit from its conditioning into its final packaging (as yet, only limited edition purée packs), thereby preserving all organoleptic properties. The packaging also indicates the name of the original farm where the tomato is grown, as well as the Mutti brand, which is a considerable commercial asset and a clear advance in terms of traceability. “All of this can be carried out thanks to two units that measure 9 m long x 2 m wide, powered by a generator and a heating unit,” explained Giorgio Lecchi.
We are the first to take up this challenge, which positions the tomatoes and those who work with them as the lead players,” said CEO Francesco Mutti. “It represents a totally new way of dealing with production.” Giorgio Lecchi and Ugo Peruch, respectively Industrial Director and Agricultural Director of Mutti Spa, admitted that “only a year ago, it seemed impossible.
They had to deconstruct consolidated agricultural practices stretching back over the past 30 years and put together a totally new team of designers “with no prejudices” in order to redesign the procedure and make it possible to process tomatoes within a very small space and with limited movement. With just four operators and two logistics staff members, the installation performs all of the eight phases, from washing to packaging, in compliance with all health and hygiene rules and standards of energy self-sufficiency.


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