ONE Australian cherry orchard has pipped other growers to new technology.
Wandin Valley Farms has installed a state-of-the-art grader only recently released in Australia.
There are only four around the country - three in Victoria and one in South Australia.
"We had ours installed last month and have only been using it for a week," director Tim Jones said. "The machine takes 30 photos of each cherry and sends the information to a computer which sorts the fruit by size, colour, defects, softness and whether or not they have a stem.
"It is a very powerful piece of equipment and has the makings to be an absolutely brilliant machine."
Wandin Valley Farms uses the AirJet colour separation and size grading machine for high-value cherries.
The technology for the cameras comes from Holland.
The manufacturer - GP Graders Victoria in Mount Waverley - is a world leader in cherry grading and packing machinery.
It builds six different types of grader, handling anything from one to 10 tonnes an hour. The machines are customisable and can reduce labour needs by up to 60 per cent.
GP Graders says its machine is the "world's first true cherry defect grader".
It boasts 100 per cent colour accuracy, 97.5 per cent size accuracy, 80 per cent defect accuracy and claims to eliminate fruit spurs and doubles.
The company also makes graders for shellfish, citrus, mangoes, small fruit, apples, pears and stone fruit.