The second year of data collection for Western Growers’ Global Harvest Automation Report is underway, and we need growers and start-ups to fill out surveys to help the industry confront the ongoing threat from chronic labor shortages.
Western Growers’ Global Harvest Automation Initiative (GHAI) aims to automate 50 percent of the fresh produce harvest within 10 years through a series of projects involving growers, automation start-ups and key industry players.
To accomplish this, we need the input from both growers and start-ups to help us establish data trends on the current impact of automation in the fresh produce industry. This data will be valuable in attracting additional innovation, talent and funding to the harvest automation space and will be compiled early next year into the second Global Harvest Automation Report.
The initial report, prepared in collaboration with consultants at Roland Berger, found that:
- 65 percent of participating growers have invested in automation over the past three years
- The average annual spend on automation was $350,000-$400,000 per grower
- Spending occurred in pre-harvest and harvest assist activities, including weeding, thinning, harvesting platforms and autonomous ground vehicles. It is anticipated that 30-60 percent of these activities will be automated by 2025.
- Harvest automation itself remains limited because of the technical difficulties in replicating the human hand to harvest delicate crops. It is anticipated that 20 percent of harvest activities will be automated by 2025.
The inaugural Global Harvest Automation Report is available for download by clicking here.
For growers, please use this survey
For start-ups, please use this survey
The deadline to take the survey is Friday, Nov. 11, 2022. Please note that your survey responses will be strictly confidential and data from the research will be reported only in the aggregate.
Please contact Western Growers VP of Innovation, Walt Duflock, at [email protected] with any questions.