Rearing biologicals is one thing – getting them around the world, alive and ready to feast, is a whole other challenge. In recent years, a significant amount of R&D focus at Dudutech has been on understanding this challenge and meeting it through innovations in quality control, cold-chain management and packaging specs. The result is consistent delivery anywhere in the world within 48 hours, without compromising the performance of the biologicals.
An aerial photograph of Dudutech’s Packhouse and Logistics Centre at Ladybird Farm, Naivasha (Dudutech, 2020).
At Dudutech, it all starts with the people. Over 350 employees have been trained and integrated into the Dudutech family, among them doctoral and post-grad scientists, each with their own place and purpose. The team leans on their extensive collective experience to guarantee optimum product quality at every stage, from R&D to delivery on the crop.
Evans Oyo inspecting a sample under a microscope. (Dudutech/Georgina Little, 2018).
Following harvest, Jack Adundo – Technical Manager – and his dedicated QC (Quality Control) scientists vigorously check each batch on a microscopic level. By building the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System into our tried and tested Standard Operating Procedures, we ensure only products of the highest degree of quality make it to the customer’s crops. These safeguards are further buffered by pre-pack and after-pack sampling of each batch to aid quick troubleshooting and provide feedback into our continuous improvement program.
From there, their journey around the world begins. Eric Langat, who is at the head of the team at the Packhouse and Logistics Centre, fulfills the orders and uses a dynamic logistics network to secure the earliest possible delivery times.
Each of the packaging standards is continuously trialled and the resulting innovations have had a significant impact on how we pack and move the orders. The most important recent improvements are the packaging re-use scheme, the volume each order occupies, maintenance of conditions in transit, improved ease of use and optimised performance on delivery.
In particular, the packing standards for our mites range combine an improved bottle shape and bespoke Duduvent cap design with streamlined shipping materials to balance performance, efficiency and size in transit. Duduvent provides a unique solution to the challenge. It ensures the air inside the mite’s bottles is cool and fresh and provides end-users with a better way to spread the mites on the crop.
While the tickets are being booked, each order enters our bio-chain. This specially designed and digitally monitored cold-chain system can maintain transit conditions over great distances for up to 48 hours.
A bio-chain delivery vehicle used to transport biologicals under climate-controlled conditions. (Dudutech, 2020).
Our fleet of custom-designed delivery vehicles forms the backbone of our bio-chain network. These refrigerated trucks are used to distribute the orders from our Ladybird Farm in Naivasha directly to farmers in Kenya or to export customers via Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
We include digital data monitors in each shipment to gather data on humidity and temperature and this information is then carefully analysed and relayed back to the technical team for further improvement.
Fig. 1. Process flow for Dudutech’s cold-chain standard operating procedure.