Researcher: Matt Whiting, Ph.D., horticulturist
Problem: Fruit growers today pay pickers piece rate, a manual process that is prone to inaccuracies. Currently there are no precise ways to quantify the weight of the fruit each picker harvests. In addition, there is no mechanism to easily and accurately enter picker performance data into payroll.
Solution: The portable FairWeigh system allows growers to credit pickers accurately and individually for the weight of fruit they harvest in the orchard. Data from the system are sent directly to people who are managing harvest and payroll, streamlining and improving accuracy of payroll, while also keeping better track of harvest process.
Impact: The system saves growers money, allows more flexibility in picking, and guarantees fair pay for pickers. MYM LLC. Incorporated launched in 2014 to get the FairWeigh system to consumers, and has sold 20 units to date.
Dr. Whiting has worked with WSU’s Office of Commercialization through the process of disclosing his invention, securing patents, finding funding, and other parts along the commercialization pathway. Contact them if you have an innovation you’d like to take to market.