Oxnard-based Mission Produce has completed construction on its first European ripening centre. The Breda, Netherlands-based facility is strategically located near the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp – the two main points of entry for importing avocados into Europe.
The company has operated a distribution centre in Breda since 2012 and recently expanded the facility, located in the Mooy Logistics terminal, adding four three-tiered ripening rooms – the first of their kind in Europe – with a capacity of 36 pallets each.
Mission said the extended height of the rooms increases capacity and efficiency and allows for energy savings of 15 per cent over standard systems.
According to Ine Potting, managing director of Mission Produce Europe, the extra ripening capacity signals the company’s expected growth in the European market.
“We have been providing fruit to the European market for over five years, both through direct customer imports, as well as through our facility in Breda. By adding ripening capacity, we can offer more value-added services to our customer base here,” Potting said.
Brent Scattini, vice president of sales and marketing, said the expansion will help the company grow globally.
“We provide fruit in Europe from three primary countries of origin – Peru, Mexico and Chile – and our new centre stages us for expansion regardless of seasonality or origin,” he stated.
“Adding the ripening centre allows us to service our customers’ needs by providing ripe fruit in consistent volume throughout the year.”
President and CEO Steve Barnard explained that consumption is growing more rapidly in Europe than in North America.
“Our expectation is that this growth will continue, and the ability to provide ripe fruit to our customer base will position Mission to capitalise on that growth.”