Sorted, packed… what happens next?

Optimal storage conditions are crucial for ensuring high internal fruit quality and freshness as well as meeting year-round consumer demand. When the fruit arrives, we store it on site in 72 controlled atmosphere (CA) refrigeration rooms with a capacity of 88 000 bulk bins.

Once the packaged fruit comes from each of our packing lines, the boxes are scanned and delivered by conveyor to the palletisation area, where they are palletised, strapped and labelled before final sign-off. We then force-cool them at a temperature of -0.5°C in tunnels with a capacity of 660 pallets, for an average of 48 hours. However, the cooling rate may vary according to the cultivar, carton type and inner packaging used.

For export to certain markets, such as India, China or Taiwan, steri-cooling (or sterilisation cooling) is required. This means that the pallets must be kept under forced cooling for much longer – up to two weeks. After this, a probe test is done and a temperature report is handed to PPECB.

The pallets are now ready for dispatch or can be kept in our holding rooms (or RA refrigeration rooms) with a storage capacity of up to 2400 pallets. These rooms are fitted with a mobile racking system that allows us to load the pallets higher, thereby better utilising the floor space.

We work closely with major shipping lines and logistics service providers to ensure timely delivery to all major destinations. Refrigerated transport is mostly used when relocating the fruit in order to maintain the cold chain. For our export customers, pallets are loaded directly into shipping containers.

Betko’s dispatch, distribution and export leg plays a key role in the success of our business. This is where our local and international customers benefit from years of experience and our understanding of timely order processing to meet their demands.