Kenyan logistic company, Mitchell Cotts Group, in partnership with Perishable Movements Kenya Limited (PMKL) and Fresh Handling Kenya Limited, have inaugurated the first vacuum cooling service at the landside of an air cargo terminal facility in JKIA, Nairobi.
The already commissioned equipment is expected to assist Kenya's exporters of fresh flowers, herbs, and vegetables to extend the shelf life of fresh produce and meet the stringent quality requirements of international markets.
The vacuum cooling service is also expected to boost the country's export earnings and increase the competitiveness of Kenya's exports in the global fresh produce market.
Post-harvest losses in Kenya range from 10 to 50 percent, depending on the type of farm produce. The vacuum cooling service, therefore, spells good tidings for the horticulture sector.
"Overall, with the installation of the vacuum cooler at our cargo terminal, we are confident it will help horticulture farmers maximize their profits," said Daniel Tanui, Managing Director of Mitchell Cotts Group. "The service is expected to improve the efficiency and reliability of fresh produce exports from Kenya to international markets and will be available to customers who book their cargo through either of our partners," Daniel added.
"We have invested heavily in the development of the service and are confident that it will help to increase the quality of fresh produce exports from Kenya," added Silas Kashindi, CEO of Perishable Movements Kenya Limited.
The equipment can cool up to 2,000 kilograms of fresh produce per hour, and it is expected to help Kenyan horticulture exporters meet the growing demand for fresh produce exports in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
Vacuum cooling is a fast and efficient way to cool down the temperature of the product quickly and evenly, helping to maintain the freshness and quality of the product. Leveraging the service will help to reduce spoilage and extend the product's shelf life, making them ideal for export. Additionally, vacuum cooling service will reduce the risk of contamination, which is especially important when exporting perishable goods.
"The vacuum cooler is an innovative cooling solution that rapidly cools freshly harvested produce, preserving its freshness. It will also help reduce waste, keeping produce fresher for longer," said Esther Kabugi, Head of Operations at Fresh Handling Limited.
The horticulture industry is one of the significant contributors to the Kenyan economy and employs over 1.2 million Kenyans. The sector has been driven by increased demand for Kenyan produce in international markets, as well as the development of innovative technologies such as vacuum cooling and improved production and post-harvest management practices, which ensure that the products arrive in perfect condition, thus increasing demand and boosting exports.
For more information:
Mitchell Cotts Freight Kenya Limited