Coles Group has invested $43 million in a new banana-ripening facility in Melbourne to help banana, avocado and mango growers in North Queensland.
The 7280sqm facility is under the five-year agreement between Coles and Queensland banana grower, Mackays Marketing.
The supermarket said the facility is capable of ripening 350 million bananas every year. It will source the fruit from growers in Tully, Lakeland, Innisfail and Mareeba and the bananas will be sold in more than 270 supermarkets in Victoria and South Australia. The new banana facility is using a reversible airflow ripening technology which is 70 per cent more energy efficient compared to traditional ‘tarped’ ripening systems.
“This project has bought best practice ripening technology to Coles and this will help us continue to regularly provide the very best quality bananas, avocados and mangoes to consumers. Our farming families are proud of the produce they grow and excited to see a reduction of waste produce as we extend the shelf life of the fruit,” said Mackays Marketing CEO Richard Clayton.
The Green Star sustainability certified facility uses rainwater tanks that can store 100,000 litres of water and some 1800 solar panels – enough to generate power for 86 average Australian homes.
“We’re delighted to be supporting horticulture jobs across Queensland and other growing regions by replacing old technology with more sustainable alternatives,” said Coles Group chief commercial officer Greg Davis.