Coles has spent $43 million on a ripening facility in Melbourne that will support banana, avocado and mango growers in North Queensland and will ripen fruit from farmers across Australia.
It was built as part of a five-year agreement between Coles and growers collective Mackays Marketing and has the capacity to ripen 350 million pieces of fruit annually.
Using reversible air-flow ripening technology, the 7,280sqm facility is 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.
Mackays marketing CEO Richard Clayton said the partnership with Coles would be instrumental in encouraging greater consumption offresh fruit and vegetables to create a healthier nation.
“This project has bought best practice ripening technology to Coles and this will help us continue to regularly provide the very best quality bananas, avocados and mangoes to consumers,” he said.
The 5-star Green Star facility incorporates a number of sustainability measures, including rainwater tanks with a combined capacity of 100,000 litres and more than 1,790 solar panels — capable of generating electricity equivalent to the annual usage of more than 86 average Australian homes.