Thanks to recent innovations aimed at overcoming global supply and energy challenges the company is finding new customers worldwide

Dutch ripening room specialist Interko is targeting new business opportunities across business and South America as its customer base continues to expand.

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In the last year, the company has installed several Ultimo and Optimo rooms for well-known retailers, distributors, and grower-exporters in Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Peru.

Last week, Interko took part in Peru’s ExpoAlimentaria trade fair together with its local Peruvian partner, HB Refrigeration, for the first time.

“Latin America is a significant source of the world’s tropical fruits, including bananas, avocados and mangoes,” said managing director Chris Maat.

“Co-exhibiting at Latin America’s most important food fair offers us a fantastic chance to expand our local footprint and raise awareness of our brand name, while meeting face-to-face all of our customers from the region.”

Now Interko is gearing up for next week’s Fruit Attraction in Madrid, where Maat said the company will showcase a raft of technological innovations to target new business opportunities as well as add value for existing customers. Interko will be present with industrial refrigeration specialist Clauger.

Alongside installing cutting-edge ripening rooms in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Sweden, Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Argentina, in the last year Interko has focused hard on improving its ripening technology as the global produce industry tackles supply and energy challenges.

“Interko is the longest-serving ripening room provider on the market; we have installed hundreds of rooms across Europe and the globe,” said Maat.

“Nonetheless, we never rest on our laurels, and the unprecedented challenges of the last few years have pushed our business to innovate even harder.”

To that end, the company has rolled out its own innovative ripening control system complete with a market-exclusive fail-safe mode. The sensor-based programme helps operators to go one step further in automating their ripening process, and comes pre-fitted in Interko’s Ultimo, Optimo, Axesso and Mobilo ripening rooms.

Maat explains: “Our new ripening controller is really something! Since its launch, the customer feedback has been so positive that the product is almost selling itself.

“It’s easy to use, records a lot of data, offers great quality control and enables ripeners to perfect their ripening cycles with greater flexibility and responsiveness than ever before.

“On top of that, our controller offers operators the ability to automate their ripening process with the guarantee of a fail-safe feature, which can help businesses with their labour challenges. We believe it will be a game changer.”

Interko is also revising its ripening room range with newer fans to produce even greater energy savings. That includes a redesigned Ultimo cooler with even more efficient fan motors, while working on a second generation of its revolutionary Reverso reversible fan for use in all four room types.

Maat said the company is also working to reduce its use of materials across its entire ripening technology range with the aim of overcoming supply chain shortages and ensuring more efficient stacking of its products during delivery.

“Interko offers an unrivalled proposition thanks to our 50 years of experience and market-leading ripening technology. For fruit retailers, importers and distributors we can build bespoke ripening rooms equipped with our latest innovative technology,” Maat said.

“By upgrading to Interko ripening rooms, operators will lower their operational costs, reduce energy consumption and minimise product loss, as well as improve their product quality, finish and shelf-life.”