Westfalia Fruit Opens Hass Avocado Processing Plant in Colombia
SONSÓN, COLOMBIA - Westfalia Fruit’s Colombia branch celebrated the grand opening of a new and state-of-the-art processing plant for Hass avocados last week, hosting a ceremony on location in Sonsón, Antioquia. The South African-based fruit provider called the new plant—which uses grading and sorting technologies provided by Compac—“the largest and most advanced avocado processing plant” in Colombia.
“This inauguration is an event of great significance for Colombia’s Hass avocado export industry,” shared Pedro Aguilar-Niño, General Manager of Westfalia Fruit Colombia. “Such an investment on the part of a global company is a sign of great confidence in this country. This processing plant has the highest capacity and the most advanced technology in the country—it is a strong statement of belief in the region, which becomes a true cluster for the production and export of Hass avocados.”
According to a press release, the new plant uses a 5-lane Compac Multi Lane Sorter, which can process 25 tonnes of avocados per hour. Then, the fruit is tested by Compac’s Inspectra2 platform using Near-infrared (NIR) technology to review internal properties of each piece of fruit not visible to the naked eye. This eliminates the need to cut samples of the fruit and allows Westfalia to deliver consistent high quality.
“These solutions will provide the answers to Westfalia Fruit Colombia’s requirements,” said Jacinto Trigo, Compac Latin America’s Regional Director. “They ensure the consistently high quality of its product and optimize grading precision. Together with the high quality after sales service that Compac is able to deliver, its packhouse technology enables the company to meet its requirements in post-harvest processing capacity, minimize waste, and ensure its customers’ satisfaction.”
Westfalia Fruit Colombia began producing, packing, and selling Hass avocados for export in 2012, and the company currently operates two additional facilities in Antioquia. In just six years, the company’s Colombian branch has exported more than 800 avocado containers to destinations across the world. Now, with this investment in the new facility, the company expects to triple its production capacity.
“For us at Westfalia, our experience with the community in this municipality has been instrumental in our decision to make this further significant investment,” Aguilar-Niño continued. “We have equipped the plant with the advanced systems provided by New Zealand company Compac, part of TOMRA Food—a true leader in cutting-edge fruit grading and sorting technology. Together, we will be able to contribute to the development of our sector.”
For more on technological advances and growth in the fresh produce industry, keep reading AndNowUKnow.