New Zealand-owned software product development company Radfords has been awarded an R&D Growth Grant by Callaghan Innovation.
The three-year Callaghan Innovation growth grant will provide co-funding of 20% towards Radfords' eligible spend on their R&D programme per year, with additional funding for a further two years available on review.
The Callaghan Innovation Growth grant is designed to help New Zealand businesses increase their investment in R&D.
Radfords has been collaborating across the NZ kiwifruit industry to help it scale into the position it is in today.
The company was born out of a need to provide a process-based software solution to support the NZ Kiwifruit industry 28 years ago.
Radfords helps enable growers and pack-houses to meet stringent quality and process standards in a systematic way, which in turn helps ensure New Zealand Kiwifruit is packed to a standard that delivers on the brand experience to the consumer.
In recent years, Radfords has developed a generic range of software modules for the wider fresh produce market providing the capability to manage orchard events, people and compliance, harvest, packing, quality control, inventory management, traceability, logistics and grower payments.
Radfords now partners with clients in NZ, Australia, Italy, France, Korea, and Japan, spanning the following produce categories: cherries, kiwifruit and kiwi-berries, peaches, apricots, plums, avocado, peaches, mangoes, strawberries, apples, kumara, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, citrus and chickens.
Radfords CEO Adam Cuming last November took up the reins from founder Phil Radford, who decided to move onto the Radfords' board and focus on special projects.
Cuming says the company is honoured to receive the Callaghan Innovation grant.
“The world’s fresh produce demand is forecast to double by 2030 and there is huge pressure to create capacity, efficiency and traceability to help meet this demand.
“Radfords has made the decision to invest heavily into R&D to leverage the new wave of technologies to help bring a step change in the orchard to customer process and help fresh produce brands provide a seamless connection from orchard to consumer,” he says.
“We see AI as a big opportunity to help drive process optimisation where post-harvest operations are currently constrained by labour availability and cost.
“The data collected through the end to end process will also enable supply chains to participate in future blockchains, creating the visibility of brands to connect their consumer to the orchard,” he adds.
Cuming says the Callaghan Innovation grant will enable Radfords to provide scale and speed to its R&D plans to enable it to bring new capabilities to market and fuel its plans to grow the business globally.