Ljubljana, 09 May (STA) - Slovenian company Rastoder, the sixth biggest banana wholesaler in the world, opened last evening a new logistics centre at the BTC shopping district in Ljubljana, from which it will supply cities up to 500 kilometres away. The centre includes a state-of-the art banana ripening facility and storage space for other produce.
Before the new facility opened, Rastoder stored its bananas in the port of Koper and at a storage in Ljubljana. Now half of the fruit stored in Koper will be moved to the new facility in Ljubljana.
Izet Rastoder, whose namesake company secures 80% of its revenue with the Derby banana brand, expects the company to up its revenue to EUR 130m in 2013, which would be a EUR 20m rise over last year.
The company, which is the third biggest banana supplier in Europe, will employ an additional 30 people at the new logistics centre, whereas a total of 25 people currently work for Rastoder in Slovenia, the daily Finance reported on Wednesday.
The company also plans to start buying produce from Slovenian farmers. Rastoder told the daily before the opening of the new facility that it would buy also from farmers who grow only small amounts of produce.
"This project is important for Slovenia. Mercator [Slovenia's biggest retailer], which used to buy from farmers, failed to pay for the goods up to six months," said Rastoder, who promised to pay his suppliers within 15 days. Due to late payments, Rastoder also no longer supplies bananas to Mercator.
Rastoder's biggest partner is the US multinational Dole. The company buys bananas in South America and sells them in the Americas, Europe, Russia and the Arab world, where they even beat Chiquita bananas.