Germany: EDEKA opens new ripening facility for bananas in Saxony

Today, the EDEKA-Group has opened the first CO2-neutral ripening facility in Borna, Germany. Starting from now, around 50,000 boxes of bananas per week will be ripened there, that amounts to 286 million bananas per year (2.6 million boxes). They will then be delivered to storage locations of EDEKA and Netto Marken-Discount in five states. To build this state-of-the-art and climate-neutral facility, the EDEKA-Group invested around seven million Euros.

The banana is the most popular item in the fruit and vegetable sections of German supermarkets. With the new facility in Borna, EDEKA Fruchtkantor, which is part of the EDEKA-Headquarters in Hamburg, is ensuring the efficient supply of regional retailers with high-quality bananas. On an area of 4,200 square meters there are 38 ripening chambers, most of which can hold more than 1,000 boxes of bananas.

The bananas are grown in Central and South America and are shipped to Europe when they are still green. Then they are transported to the ripening facility in Borna from big ports such as Hamburg, Bremerhaven, Rotterdam or Antwerp. There the fruit are ripened to perfection in rooms with controlled atmosphere within five to seven days. Afterwards they are delivered to overall eight logistics centers of EDEKA and Netto-Markendiscount.

During the construction of the facility, the highest ecological standards were taken into consideration. On the roof of the building you can find a photovoltaic system with a capacity of 409 kilowatts-peak - this equals to the power of 90 single-family homes. Furthermore, they are using a gas-powered cogeneration unit. These two units almost completely cover the electricity demands (95%) of the facility. The waste heat of the cogeneration unit is also used to produce cool air with an absorption chiller. All these aspects, the energy-efficient ripening techniques, the photovoltaic system, the combined heating, cooling and power process, as well as the usage of climate-neutral gas and power enable a CO2-neutral operation of the facility. The modern energy concept will be saving up to two thirds of the overall cost for energy and about 1,000 tons of CO2 annually, compared to a traditional ripening facility.

Including this new location, EDEKA now runs four banana ripening facilities, in Borna, Hamburg, Roisdorf and Urbach (Stuttgart). The carrier is EDEKA Fruchtreiferei GmbH. They are part of EDEKA Fruchtkontor which is in charge of the nationwide procurement and marketing of fruit and vegetables. Via five procurement-offices and three logistics platforms, Fruchtkontor is marketing around 2.5 million tons of fruit and vegetables by over 1,000 producers in 96 countries, annually.

Source: Edeka-Verbund

Publication date: 9/25/2017

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