Company has had a very fruitful year

Staff of Tesco tour the new banana ripening facility on South Lancashire Industrial Estate. 'Quality Controller Amanda Heaton explains her role
Staff of Tesco tour the new banana ripening facility on South Lancashire Industrial Estate. 'Quality Controller Amanda Heaton explains her role
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A BRYN distribution and manufacturing park is enjoying the fruits of its labour after a successful year saw the opening of a banana ripening centre.

Compagnie Fruitiere UK (CFUK) has developed a new distribution site at South Lancashire Industrial Estate, Bryn with help from Barwood Developments (North) Ltd.

The 61,000ft sq centre has 32 ripening rooms producing a million ripe bananas a week.

The ripening process is a key part of the company’s business because given the right treatment bananas will become sweeter and tastier fruit to eat.

The bananas shipped into Wigan come in a dormant state and are then “woken up” to bring them up to customers’ standards.

Andrew Dickman, director of Barwood Developments (North) Ltd, said: “We worked with CFUK to deliver a suitable building through a bespoke specification and with a further 30 acres remaining Barwood are talking to both local and national businesses about further development.

“The transaction reinforces the attractive location of Wigan to inward investors looking to distribute across the north of the UK.”

The company chose its northern hub in Wigan for its excellent transport links. And the new site is helping deliver 100,000 boxes of bananas a week to supermarkets and shops.

The facility was designed to achieve a Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology rating of very good and is energy efficient and has a low carbon footprint.

Toni Direito, CFUK’s commercial director added: “Compagnie Fruitiere’s investment in a new state-of-the-art ripening facility highlights the increasing need for high-tech nature of today’s produce industry.

“It also underscores our commitment to providing a first-class ripening and distribution services to customers situated in the north of UK.”

Wigan Council deputy leader Coun David Molyneux added: “Wigan is ripe for businesses looking to invest, expand and cultivate the perfect conditions for success.

“We are delighted Compagnie Fruitiere UK has made Wigan Borough its new base for the north and it shows with our Deal for Business we are here to help companies grow.”