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Fruidor's French banana ripening site

Before arriving in supermarkets, tons of bananas ripen every year in Rochepinard, in Fruidor’s banana warehouse inside the wholesale market. Fruidor imports banana from the Antilles (90%), as well as Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America. The bananas are spread out over the 8 cold rooms until they have the colour desired by wholesalers and supermarkets.
“On average, 5 days are needed for the bananas to ripen”, explains Eric Fontaine, site manager, “but, in reality, we often need to control their colour. No two weeks look the the same here.”

As the bananas ripen, their amidon levels decrease as sucrose rises, they therefore become yellow. To accelerate the process the bananas are placed in rooms where the temperature reaches up to 17.5 °C and gas and ethylene are injected, allowing them to constantly verify the temperatures.
“Before sending off the products, we decrease the temperature to 14°C to prevent them from ripening too fast” explains Mr Fontaine.
The Rochepinard site also has a shipping chain (6 employees).

On average, 6,300 tons of fruit are sold per year. A peak in activity is generally noted between mid-January and mid-June, before consumption of stonefruit takes over. “However, when the cost of (stonefruit) is high in the summer, the banana sells well in too” says Mr Fontaine.

Facts and figures:
- Fruidor Bananas is present in 9 towns : Bordeaux, Cavaillon, Ennery, Lomme, Mions, Nantes, Rouen, Rungis and Tours. 

- The Tours antenna delivers within an approximate 2h30 radius from the warehouse.

- On a local scale, Fruidor has competition from company AZ, in Parcay-Meslay.
- Eric Fontaine, Site Manager, estimates banana consumption in France at 8.5kg/person/year. According to him, this figure reaches 18 kg in Germany.
- The journey by ship for bananas from the Antilles to France takes about 10 days.

- When less than 12°C bananas turn black. It is therefore recommended to avoid storing them in the fridge.

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