Morrisons first ‘banana factory’ creates 80 jobs

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Fruit Banana Morrisons

Morrisons first banana ripening factory will create 80 new jobs in Boston this autumn
Morrisons first banana ripening factory will create 80 new jobs in Boston this autumn
Better banana quality and lower costs are the driving factors behind Morrisons’ acquisition of its first banana ripening factory, which will create 80 new jobs in Boston, Lincolnshire, says the retailer.

Morrisons has acquired a 5,388m2​ factory from Del Monte, as part of a joint venture with Global Pacific.

The deal will allow Britain’s fourth biggest retailer to offer improved quality and consistency for the nation’s most popular fruit. Controlling the maturing process will allow the fruit to ripen more slowly, making it sweeter and longer-lasting.

The supermarket’s boss Dalton Philips said: “Bananas are the most popular fruit in the UK, so it makes sense for Morrisons to apply its unique approach to food production to simplify the supply chain, cut out costs and improve quality.

Customers different needs

“Adding this ripening factory to our business means we will be able to mature bananas more precisely to our customers’ different needs.”

When it comes to buying bananas, shoppers’ tastes vary considerably, he added. Some prefer bananas with a tinge of green in order to ripen them at home, while others want more yellow, mature bananas that are sweeter and can be eaten straight away.

The new warehouse will allow the green, or unripened, bananas to be ripened at the in-house facility rather than by a third party.

“Bananas are one of the top-selling items at supermarkets in the UK and the move to acquire the facility from Del Monte will give Morrisons a direct, secure supply, achieve a cost saving and the ability to improve the consistency of the quality of its bananas in store,”​ according to a statement from the retailer.

Chris Kilvington, ceo of Global Pacific, welcomed the joint venture. “We are delighted to be entering into this exciting partnership with Morrisons, and look forward to the opportunity to set up and run the site on its behalf,” ​he said.

Operated by Del Monte

The nine-year-old factory was operated by Del Monte until November 2011, when it ceased operation.

The new jobs will be created at the site when the factory becomes operational this autumn.

Morrisons is the only supermarket to own manufacturing sites – spanning abattoirs, bakeries, produce packing, a fish factory and a flower factory – where, it claimed, nearly a quarter of the food it sells is produced.

The banana facility is the sixth addition to Morrisons’ manufacturing business within the past three years. It followed the opening of meat factories in Deeside and Winsford, a produce site in Worsley, FlowerWorld in Derby and its Grimsby fish factory.

The retailer pledged to continue its policy of working closely with growers by sourcing a larger number of its bananas directly from dedicated growers.

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