In 2010, upon analyzing this situation, TN Coopers decided to broaden its view and focus on developing a tool which would allow early detection of contaminants, identifying the problem at its source. The winegrowing industry would require a hypersensitive tool, and the answer was not in technology, but rather… in the animal kingdom. After 2 years of training, TN Coopers presented their two contamination detection experts: Ambrosia and Odyse, two friendly and keen Labrador retriever puppies. Two years later, Moro joined them.
Labradors are not just the most popular pet in the world, but due to their traits, these dogs are used for many different activities, like hunting, search and rescue, guide dogs, assistance, therapy and others. They have, without a doubt, an extremely sensitive sense of smell, which is why, 2 years after they started training, Moro, Ambrosia and Odyse, according to experts in the area, have been a complete success.
The dogs went through a socialization and physical reinforcement stage, and have become well trained in detection matters. When they put on their uniform, their attitude changes immediately: vigilant and alert, they run around our facilities or our customers vineyards, and when they reach the source, they give a clear signal where the origin of the contamination is.
For TN Coopers, the goal of the Natinga project is to provide innovative support for the winemaking industry by developing a permanent vigilance program related to raw materials, along with an infrastructure and processes for wine production, providing their clients with a unique service that can make a difference between a quality wine and one that simply needs to be thrown away.
Today, wine cellars analyze their environment, place traps with Bentonite earth to capture what there is in the environment and if these read positive for contaminants, the most difficult part begins: the search for the sources. This is where a trained dog becomes a valuable tool for the winemaker.
Training: TN Coopers regularly controls their facilities. The run takes place between 6:30 and 7:30 in the morning, when the air is at its purest and the aromas have not yet been dispersed by the temperature of the day. The routine considers inspecting the wood park, production areas and supplies depot, as well as the finished products.
With an annual rotation inside the plant of over 400 containers for both imports and exports, the environmental control with the dogs has become a protocol, and it is not strange that they reject something due to serious suspicion of a contamination risk. This is produced by the water and chlorine washing containers experience in the depots, often being renewed with chlorinated paints. This condition, added to the wooden floors, clearly represents a potential risk for the Industry.