Fyffes opens new €25 million banana ripening center

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Fyffes opens new €25 million banana ripening center

Fyffes has opened a new EUR 25 million (US$ 26.67 million) banana ripening and distribution center in Balbriggan, just to the north of Dublin, Ireland. 

According to a statement, when operating at full capacity the center will have an output of over 7 million bananas per week – approximating to over 60,000 tonnes annually – all for supply to Irish retailers, wholesalers and food providers.

The new facility was commissioned in November 2019. Constructed on a 10-acre site, it comprises the 8,500 sq. meters ripening and distribution center and an adjacent 1,750 sq. meters two-story office and administration block, with requisite loading bays, truck and customer parking and ancillary services areas. 

Replacing the company’s former facility in Swords, it has the capacity to accommodate a staff of 120 persons at peak.

Serviced directly from Cork Port – through which most of Fyffes produce arrives directly into Ireland from Central and South America – the new facility will be an essential link in the Fyffes distribution chain, its primary function being to ensure that bananas are delivered to consumers at the perfect point of freshness and quality.

Constructed in line with new building regulations, the new plant is likely to be regarded as one of the most sustainable buildings of its kind in Ireland.  With the potential to use some 60% less energy than the building it replaces, some of its energy will be supplied by roof-mounted photovoltaic panels whilst both the office heating and cooling systems will be fed via a Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP). Rainwater harvesting systems have been installed to help conserve and reduce water consumption.

The building uses energy efficient LED lights throughout and features generous window glazing and external ‘brise soleil’ to provide passive shading and reduce overheating.  A green roof system has been installed for growing flora and encouraging pollinators. Other amenities include staff showers, changing facilities and drying rooms, bicycle parking spaces and charging points for electric vehicles.

Speaking to guests and officials at an event held to mark the opening of the new center, Fyffes CEO Helge Sparsoe said: “the new development will have a very positive impact on Fyffes by delivering even greater productivity and strengthening its ability to service the needs of our customers”.

Designed by Irish architects Scott Tallon Walker and built by Monaghan-based construction firm, Meegan Builders, the refrigeration fit out was provided by the Cross Group.

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