Leading produce distributor and packer Valleyfresh officially opened a new ripening centre at its headquarters in Western Melbourne this afternoon.
The Derrimut facility includes 12 ripening rooms, which will primarily be used to store and ripen avocados.
“It will help handle the massive growth in avocado production and consumption we forecast over the next five years,” explained Valleyfresh chief executive Murray McCallum.
“We can use them as conventional ripening and cool rooms as well, so it provides us with plenty of flexibility.”
The site has also received accreditation to handle AQIS preclearance checks. It is the fourth extension Valleyfresh has unveiled in the past seven years, with the company set to commence work on a similar ripening and cool storage warehouse in Western Sydney early in the new year.
“Our expansion is testament to the growth of the business and the calibre of the people that work for our company,” said Valleyfresh’s Simon Powell.
Peter Ellis, chief executive of Freshmax Group – the majority shareholder in Valleyfresh – hinted at more growth for the business, as it continues to evolve as a leader within the global fresh produce trade.
“We’ve got great aspirations for Valleyfresh,” he told guests at today’s opening. “It’s a real international growth engine for our group.”