Serbian group Delta Agrar is investing €6m in a coldstore unit that, when completed, will be the largest in southeast Europe.
The group, a subsidiary of Serbia's largest employer Delta Holdings, will use the facility to store fruit harvested from orchards, primarily apples.
According to Katelyn Wohlford of the Podesta Group, who works with Delta Holdings, the unit has a capacity of 6,500 tonnes and can keep fruit fresh for up to 300 days. Importantly, the fruit is not treated with any chemicals, with its ultra-low oxygen environment maintaining fruit quality instead.
Wohlford noted that the facility, which is located at the Podunavlje apple plantation in Celarevo, will be completed by August this year, boosting the total storage capacity at the estate to 13,000 tonnes.
"This refrigeration unit is a huge story for a country and region that is moving towards integration with Europe, struggling economically, and looking to develop its agricultural sector in new and innovative ways," she explained.