President of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo, and representatives of the tomato growing and exporting federation, Fedex, toured the port’s fresh produce terminal on Tuesday (8 Nov).
Chairman and CEO of Solent Stevedores, Stuart Cullen, welcomed the visitors, who are at the start of their tomato exporting season.
The investment in upgrading the terminal has expanded the cool store’s temperature range and chilled storage capacity, giving Solent Stevedores the opportunity to handle a wider variety of chilled fruit and other high-value products all year round in Southampton.
Stuart Cullen and Mr Clavijo jointly cut a ribbon at the terminal to celebrate the Canary Islands’ links with the port, the commencement of the new tomato season, the completion of the upgrades to the storage areas and the commitment of the growers with their trade in the UK.
Port director Alastair Welch said: “The port is delighted to welcome Mr Clavijo and other honoured guests to preview the improvements at our fresh produce terminal. Work will continue on the building into the New Year and we look forward to expanding our operation to meet increased demands in the future.”
Stuart Cullen said “Solent Stevedores and ABP are committed to providing the best possible cool-storage service to our existing customers to help them continue develop their business in the UK, and we hope our expanded offering to the wider market will attract new customers in the future to the Port of Southampton.”
ABP Southampton is the UK’s second largest and most efficient container terminal. Solent Stevedores has recently signed a 20-year deal with ABP to operate the Fresh Produce Terminal and support the port’s capital investment programme.