The new project by Cold Energy for the Argentinian company Argenfruit in partnership with Dutch companies BG Door and VDH boasts 14 new banana ripening units that will become operative in October.
"We had already worked for Argenfruit in 2017 upgrading 23 existing units that can hold up to 2 containers each as well as 8 storage units. With the 14 new ones, this will be the largest banana ripening facility in South America," explains Massimiliano Castagna, sales manager for Cold Energy, a company specializing in the ripening of bananas and exotic fruit.
Argenfruit commercializes the products under the Sabrostar brand in Argentina. Thanks to its strategic geographical position (Mendoza), they can reach the whole nation. "We mainly sell bananas, pineapples, mangoes, plantains, kiwifruits, avocados, apples, pears, strawberries, oranges, grapefruit and lemons. Argenfruit was set up in 1994 by my father Ruben Rinaldi, who understood there was a hefty demand for produce in the region that was not being met."
"Our market of reference has always been wide. We supply big supermarket chains, distribution warehouses and small shops. We adapt to everyone's needs and to the economic situation in our country: this strategy helps us maintain a rather stable procurement volume."
"We have been serving clients in the south of the country - Patagonia and even Tierra del Fuego - for years, and our products get there after 4 days in refrigerated trucks. With the new units, we managed to improve the quality of the produce with reduced drops in weight and an increase in shelf-life."
Argentina is a vast nation and the logistics cannot be compared to Europe. It takes days to deliver goods such as bananas all over the country. If ripening does not occur in suitable conditions, the shelf-life is affected and so are sales.
"Our main mission was to guarantee the ripening of bananas so that they could tackle the 3-4 days it takes to get to Patagonia, for example. And I'd say we made it! What is more, our systems offer energy savings, an improved ripening quality and low environmental impact. And, of course, the chance to widen the selling radius."
When designing a system, Cold Energy combines quality and safety with efficiency and inexpensiveness. It employs the most varied technologies according to client needs, economic availability and products.
"In this case, we installed a glycol refrigeration system: refrigerant fluid in the central refrigerating unit and distribution of a water solution that respects the environment and contributes sensibly to improving the product shelf-life."