Coles invests in North Queensland farms

Coles is helping support banana, avocado and mango growers in North Queensland by investing $43 million in a state-of-the-art ripening facility in Melbourne.

The investment will provide customers with top-quality fresh fruit all year round.

The new facility in Melbourne’s west was built as part of a five-year agreement between Coles and growers collective Mackays Marketing and has the capacity to ripen 350 million pieces of fruit every year.

Coles will use this facility to ripen fruit from farmers across Australia, including the North Queensland growing regions like Tully, Lakeland, Innisfail and Mareeba before being sold in more than 270 supermarkets across Victoria and South Australia.

“This project has bought best practice ripening technology to Coles and this will help us continue to regularly provide the very best quality banana, avocados and mangoes to consumers,” says CEO of Mackays Marketing, Richard Clayton.

“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.

“Australians need to keep their immune systems strong and there’s no better way to do this than a regular diet of fresh fruit and vegetables.”

More on the facility

Using best in class new reversible air flow ripening technology, the 7,280sqm facility is 70% more energy efficient than traditional ‘tarped’ ripening systems, producing fruit that has been ripened as it is needed, improving shelf life for customers and reducing waste.

The 5-star Green Star facility incorporates a number of sustainability measures, including rainwater tanks with a combined capacity of 100,000 litres and more than 1,790 solar panels — capable of generating electricity equivalent to the annual usage of more than 86 average Australian homes1.

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