U.S.-based avocado company Mission Produce has announced construction has been completed on its first ‘Ripe Centre’ in Europe, highlighting the facility stages the entity for expansion “regardless of seasonality and origin.”
The centre, based in Breda, The Netherlands, is strategically located near the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp – the primary ports for importing avocados into the European market.
Mission has operated a distribution centre in Breda since 2012, but recently expanded the facility to include four, three-tiered ripe rooms with the capacity for 36 pallets each; 144 total. The facility is in the Mooy Logistics terminal in Breda.
Mission Produce Europe managing director Ine Potting said the addition of the ripening capacity signalled the company’s expected growth in the market.
“We have been providing fruit to the European market for over five years, both through direct customer imports, as well as through our facility in Breda,” Potting said.
“By adding ripening capacity, we can offer more value-added services to our customer base here.”
Mission’s vice president of sales and marketing Brent Scattini indicated the move would help the company grow globally.
“We provide fruit in Europe from three primary countries of origin – Peru, Mexico and Chile – and our new Ripe Centre stages us for expansion regardless of seasonality and origin,” he said.
“Adding the Ripe Centre allows us to service our customer’s needs by providing ripe fruit in consistent volume throughout the year.”
Meanwhile, president and CEO Steve Barnard said the European market was developing rapidly in terms of overall avocado consumption, and was actually growing at a faster rate than North America.
“Our expectation is that this growth will continue, and the ability to provide ripe fruit to our customer base will position Mission to capitalise on that growth,” he said.
The ripening rooms were constructed under the supervision of Mission’s engineering team using energy-efficient technology. Each room features three-tier racking systems, which are described by the company as being the first of their kind in Europe.
The extended height of the rooms increases capacity and efficiency, including energy savings of 15% over standard systems. The design of the installation and the chosen components meet the demands of the EIA 2015.