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Australia: Coles' new ripening facility opens for business

It is expected that approximately 350 million pieces of tropical fruit per year will be ripened through a new facility in Melbourne. A five-year agreement between supermarket giant, Coles, and Queensland-based growers collective, Mackays Marketing, has seen the construction of the facility in order to keep up with the demand for mangoes, bananas and avocados.

The $43 million investment from Coles will see fruit from farmers across Australia, including the North Queensland growing regions, like Tully, Lakeland, Innisfail and Mareeba, ripened to then be sold in more than 270 supermarkets across Victoria and South Australia.

Jason Bovis, Mackays Marketing, general manager operations and Coles senior category manager ripened fruit, Megan Hodza, at the Coles Truganina ripening facility.

The 7,280 m2 facility uses reversible air-flow ripening technology which is reportedly 70 per cent more energy efficient than traditional "tarped" ripening systems, producing fruit that has been ripened as it is needed, improving shelf life for customers and reducing waste.

The Five-star Green Star procedure incorporates a number of sustainability measures, including rainwater tanks with a combined capacity of 100,000L and more than 1790 solar panels.


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