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Tomatoes in produce section in grocery store.

Case study: Utilizing Cold Chain to ensure the quality of Sundrop Farms' produce

July 22, 2022

Discover how Australia’s Sundrop Farm uses TELUS Cold Chain solution for better sustainability and product quality.


“We plan to use Cold Chain Management as an ongoing commitment to our food safety and quality” – Michael Rogers, Health, Safety and Compliance Manager at Sundrop Farms

Sundrop Farms operates a state-of-the-art hydroponic farming facility at Port Augusta in South Australia. This large-scale sustainable operation is world leading in food production – unlike many ‘traditional’ farming set-ups that rely on soil or fertilizers, their key ingredients are sun and seawater.

The facility opened its doors in 2015 and has transformed agriculture by producing food without impacting the environment. Their mission is to ‘benefit the environment and the local community in which they operate, by showing the world that you can grow delicious, mouthwatering produce without needing fossil fuels, vast amounts of freshwater and thousands of acres of cultivated farmland.’

The challenge

Sundrop produces high-quality truss tomatoes that are distributed across Australia through a major national retailer. Their commitment to offering delicious, high-quality produce means they pay special attention to how their products arrive to retailers, which led to the use of TELUS Cold Chain management solution to mitigate the potential temperature abuse occurring throughout transportation. The cold chain management solution provides accurate and real-time visibility of product temperature from farm all the way to distribution centre, enabling changes to improve quality control and brand trust.

The solution: implementing cold chain management

Ensuring produce is consistently of the highest quality once it reaches supermarket shelves is key to any fresh food supplier. With large volumes of product leaving Sundrop every day, throughout the year to retail distribution centres across Australia, identifying points where product temperature abuse may occur was crucial for quality management.

TELUS Cold Chain provides continuous temperature data during transport to distribution centres. Once the product reaches these centres, data is automatically uploaded to TELUS Quality Management, providing an accurate record of any abuse of temperature.

Michael Rogers, Health, Safety and Compliance Manager at Sundrop Farms, explains that this has “provided a record of temperature measurement that we can give to transport companies showing breaches in temperature, this assists us in better cold chain management to maximize customer experience.”

TELUS Cold Chain offers a combined software and hardware approach that transforms product into an intelligent, self-diagnosing data source. It utilizes real-time cloud-based software to measure, identify and drive continuous improvement of both cold chain infrastructure and quality control practices.

The results: Real-time data insights driving future planning

Sundrop plans to use TELUS Cold Chain management “as an ongoing commitment to food safety and quality. A commitment that is shared between us and our customers,” explains Rogers.

“The use of a live system that flags both high and low temperature extremes, providing a location of the breach, time and duration will allow us to have corrective actions allocated specifically to the event that occurred.”

These analytics drive continuous improvement and allow for easy trend analysis and performance benchmarking. TELUS Cold Chain management solution has the ability to help reduce rejection rates, product waste and help businesses to better meet their sustainability goals.