Agricultural producers in the UK face several challenges. Fresh food, such as fruit and vegetables, doesn’t stay fresh for long: within days of picking, it is unfit for human consumption as potentially harmful bacteria develop, while the appearance of deteriorating food is off-putting to consumers, so preserving produce for as long as possible is central to maximising profits.
Independent producers face stiff competition from multinational corporations who have the logistical and financial muscle to ship huge quantities of food from overseas, while concerns over post-Brexit subsidies for farmers also pose challenges for the future. Therefore, minimising lost produce and maximising sales turnover is central to every farm’s success, with cold storage rooms a core asset.
Cold Room Solutions
Versatility is critical when it comes to the storage of fresh fruit and vegetables in cold rooms. Produce is affected by a variety of factors, such as the time of year at which it was harvested, the maturity of the crop and the prevailing weather conditions during the growing season. For some fruit and vegetables, being stored at very low temperatures can be detrimental. Apples, for example, are best stored between 1-4°C, whereas the optimum temperature for tomatoes is 7-10°C.
Fresh produce grown on farms in the UK also changes with the season, the location and the weather. One of the features of farm shops is their individuality, reflecting the variations in local produce, so a single storage solution is unlikely to address the needs of each producer. Even differences in the size of fruit and vegetables can present a storage challenge, so a flexible approach is necessary.
To meet the needs of the business, cold room storage must be customisable, offering the ability to store different types of produce and to alter the temperature and humidity to keep fruit and vegetables in prime condition.
The Benefits Of Cold Room Storage
Commercial refrigeration provided by reputable cold room installers offers several important benefits:
- Longer-lasting, safer produce: Fruit and vegetables that are stored in cold rooms at the optimal temperature deteriorate less quickly, reducing the growth of pathogens that could render the produce harmful and unappetising.
- Highly customisable units: Cold rooms can be configured to meet the needs of the business and to provide practical storage for different types of produce, with variable temperature and humidity controls to ensure fruit and vegetables can be preserved for as long as possible.
- Different size units: No two farming businesses are alike and grow produce on the same scale, so it is vital that cold rooms can be supplied in various sizes to meet the needs of different farms. Large units provide space for many different lines and offer room for business expansion, while smaller cold rooms offer sufficient storage for smaller operations, without wasting space and energy unnecessarily. Portable units are also an option for increased flexibility.
- Tailor-made accessories: In addition to temperature and humidity controls, cold rooms can also be customised with a range of accessories, such as different types and sizes of shelving and storage options, so they can be aligned perfectly with the type of produce for storage.
At MTCSS, we can design and install a bespoke cold room for your farm, utilising only the highest quality materials from leading cold storage room manufacturers to ensure your produce is kept in optimal condition from the moment it is harvested. For more information, click here to discover our cold storage solutions for farm shops and delis.