The facility has 24 ripening cells on two levels and two packaging lines with a capacity of 45 trays per minute

Chiquita has opened the largest ripening centre in Europe in the northern Italian province of Bergamo. The 15,000m2 facility, located in the Gi.Ma.Trans logistics hub in Cortenuova, was inaugurated this week.

Chiquita Bergamo

“The inauguration of the new ripening centre testifies to our commitment to innovation, quality and sustainability in the marketing of bananas,” Joop in’t Veen, ripening & EME transportation manager at Chiquita, told Corriere Ortofrutticolo.

Costabile Romano, country manager Italy at Chiquita, said the decision to locate the facility in the logistical heart of Italy demonstrates the company’s commitment to providing consumers with excellent products and supporting retail partners in the industry.

The centre has 24 ripening cells on two levels, so that 48 pallets can be accommodated at the same time, as well as two packaging lines with a capacity of 45 trays per minute. The individual cells have state-of-the-art cooling technology that ensures efficient cooling with minimal dehumidification of the internal air to ensure optimal ripening conditions. Packaging also takes place under controlled temperature conditions.

Stefano Quarti, managing director of Gi.Ma.Trans, said: “We are proud that Chiquita chose Gi.Ma.Trans for its first ripening centre in Italy. Due to our 30 years of experience, we know the requirements of the fresh produce industry well and are always ready to offer the flexibility required by the industry and to ensure high standards in line with Chiquita’s product quality”.