Armagh Firm To Export Banana Ripening Rooms To Australia

A local refrigeration company is to design and manufacture banana and avocado ripening rooms to an Australian firm in a contract worth over £7 million.

Armagh-based Cross Refrigeration specialises in the installation and distribution of industrial and commercial refrigeration facilities and won it's first Australian contract with supermarket chain Coles and the construction firm Qanstruct Pty Ltd.

It will deliver 60 of its next generation banana ripening facilities to Melbourne in a huge step forward for its export market share.

The company's portfolio boasts other fruit storage solutions as well as air conditioning and temperature control facilities.

Invest NI offered R&D support worth over £200,000 to help the local business win the prestigious new contract.
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Managing Director of Cross Refrigeration Andrew Nesbitt said: "Whilst Australia is a distant market, it is one which offers major opportunities for our business. Over the last six years, Invest NI's support and expert advice helped us to develop our ripening facility, bring it to market and secure this deal with Coles Supermarkets.

"We have visited the market multiple times to build a relationship with numerous contacts and with Invest NI support have hired two staff to oversee the management of our exports in the market. Looking ahead, we now have an established footprint in the Australian market and we are optimistic we will see further growth."

Invest NI's CEO Kevin Holland welcomed the deal as a boost for local export trading to Australia.

"Exports from Northern Ireland to Australia increased by over 110 per cent and are currently valued at £249million1," Mr Holland said. "This demonstrates the many valuable business opportunities which are available for ambitious Northern Ireland companies. I look forward to this new deal further strengthening Cross Refrigeration's position in the Australian market."

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