US – Mission Produce, a leader in the worldwide avocado business, has revealed its expansion strategies to “double ripening capacity” and introduce mango operations to a UK site.

The expansion plans which should be completed by Spring 2024, at the forward distribution center in Dartford, includes the addition of 50% more Mission Control ripening rooms, a mango-specific operations area, and an additional cold storage and warehouse space.

“We’ve been growing our business in the UK by delivering on our commitment to be the go-to supplier of high-quality, ripe avocados,” said Paul Frowde, managing director at Mission Produce’s Europe and UK business.

“With our facility expansion, we’re getting ready to grow even more and unlock the potential for mangos in the market.”

Mission Produce is continuing its partnership with Cross Group, a global leader in advanced temperature controls, to advance the facility with a state-of-the-art, specialized mango sorting and packing line, additional warehouse and cold storage capacity, and more ripe rooms featuring Mission Control. 

Mission Control is the company’s exclusive atmosphere-control ripening process, an innovation that was developed in partnership with Cross Group and has been proven to accelerate avocado ripening and improve product uniformity. 

“Consistent quality is key to promoting a positive consumer experience with mangos, so we’re leaning on our mastery in the art of ripening and industry-leading technology to create that reliability,” says Michael O’Sullivan, senior commercial manager, Mission Produce UK.

According to him, there is plenty of opportunity to drive demand for mangos in the UK market.

He believes that the company is well positioned with a world-class supply chain to become the highest-quality product on the shelf.

The expanded facility will benefit from the growing demand of mangoes in the UK. The market prefers Kent and Keitt varieties and there is an increasing demand for ripened and freshly cut mangoes. 

The demand is not only in the UK, according to the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CBI), consumption is also increasing across Europe.

In 2021, imports of mangoes to the EU rose by 10% YoY to around 400,000 tons, facilitated by strong supply in Brazil and Peru, the two primary origins of mangoes arriving in the EU.

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