Mission Produce, Oxnard, Calif., completed construction on its first Ripe Center in Europe. The center, based in Breda, The Netherlands, is strategically located near the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp—the primary ports for importing avocados into the European market.

Mission has operated a distribution center in the Mooy Logistics terminal in Breda since 2012, but recently expanded the facility to include four, 3-tiered ripe rooms with the capacity for 36 pallets each.

“We have been providing fruit to the European market for over five years, both through direct customer imports, as well as through our facility in Breda,” says Ine Potting, managing director of Mission Produce Europe BV. “By adding ripening capacity, we can offer more value-added services to our customer base here.”

“We provide fruit in Europe from three primary countries of origin – Peru, Mexico and Chile – and our new Ripe Center stages us for expansion regardless of seasonality and origin,” notes Brent Scattini, vice president of sales and marketing. “Adding the Ripe Center allows us to service our customer’s needs by providing ripe fruit in consistent volume throughout the year.”

“The European market is developing rapidly in terms of overall avocado consumption, and is actually growing at a faster rate than North America,” adds Steve Barnard, president and CEO. “Our expectation is that this growth will continue and the ability to provide ripe fruit to our customer base will position Mission to capitalize on that growth. Mission has long been the leader in ripening in North America. We will be able to extend our deep understanding of the ripening process and technology and provide the same level of service in Europe.”

The ripe rooms were constructed under the supervision of Mission’s engineering team, using energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly technology. Each room features 3-tier racking systems, which are said to be the first of their kind in Europe. The extended height of the rooms increases capacity and efficiency, including energy savings of 15% over standard systems. The design of the installation and the chosen components meet the demands of the EIA 2015.