A new blow for efficiency has been struck by a 75-year-old citrus grove owner in Cyprus.
A new blow for efficiency has been struck by a 75-year-old citrus grove owner in Cyprus. He is Jacob Mouchly, a Jewish settler who came to Cyprus 25 years ago, and his invention - a collapsible aluminum package case for oranges, to replace the conventional wooden ones.
The idea came to him in the thirties, but no-one would back his scheme. So he saved enough capital - about GBP20,000 - to finance the innovation himself. Israel was one of the countries where he sought backing, and of his failure there he said "The Jew refused to listen to 48 prophets in their time - what chance did I have of being heard by them now?"
Recently, his first consignment of Valencia oranges in the new cases was loaded and sailing on its way to Trieste within 24 hours of picking from the trees - a record, thanks to the new packing system.
Jacob's containers are perforated and this does away with the need to wrap the fruit in paper. It facilitates inspection, and as the holes enable moisture on the fruit to be dispersed, packing and shipment need no longer be delayed by rain. The crates can be returned and used at least three times during each citrus season.
On the return journey they can be collapsed and stored in a small space or can be used for packing a wide variety of other goods. A hire charge - only 25 per cent of the cost of a wooden container - is being made for use of the new cases. The cases - patented by Mr. Mouchly - have been made by two firms, one Swiss and one German. They are crush-proof; and are wired at the joints. From the flat, collapsed state they are quickly erected to receive oranges or other goods.