Meet Ashley, our Cold Stores Manager…
He’s in charge of the management of the cold stores in which we store our fruit. He’s been with Adrian Scripps Ltd for over twenty years and in that time, has seen some huge technological changes to the ways in which we store our apples!
We joined Ashley for the afternoon to see what a typical day holds in store for him…
When we met up with him, he was preparing to open a store ready for the fruit to go off and be packed.
We often store our apples in a CA store, which means ‘Controlled Atmosphere’. This means that the oxygen in the store is reduced to between 1 and 5% to keep our apples at perfectly fresh ready for you to eat! This is no easy task and takes constant monitoring by our staff, with the help of some amazing technology.
When it’s been decided that a CA store will be opened, Ashley accesses our computer system to stop the flow of nitrogen to the store and increase the oxygen levels. This means that the air will be safe for humans to breath. Once the system has been updated, he makes his way down to the cold stores and cordons off the area to make sure no one enters whilst the store is being opened. He then programmes the ‘scrubber’ which will help clean the air already in the store and turns on the fans to increase circulation around the unit. When the areas safe, all the bolts and screws are undone ready for the door to be cracked. Ashley wears a personal oxygen monitoring device which alarms when the air is not safe to breath and also carries a separate oxygen alarm which is placed in front of the door once it has been cracked open. We both wait at the end of the galley until the alarm says that the air in the cold store is safe for us to enter, it can take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes for the oxygen to come back up to a safe level of around 21%.
Now the stores are safe to access by the forklift staff, the moving of the pallets can start!
We also regularly send our fruit off for testing, to ensure its at optimum health, the apples will be tested for firmness, sugar content and they also test the quality of the juice inside! Sample taking is done by Ashley, Sean or Tom. To do this they open a small hatch on the front of the CA stores, and take a bag of sample apples out using a hook. Because the air in the stores contains so little oxygen they have to wear full breathing apparatus to protect them – Safety first!
So as you can see, Ashley has a very busy job! Monitoring the stores, overseeing the movement of pallets and making all the necessary adjustments to each store to ensure our apples stay delicious!
Fruit is constantly being moved around our site and coming in from our different farms, next month we’ll follow the journey of some more of our apples which are being sent off to be pre-sized in our Packhouse!