Fresh King installs solar power system

Fresh King Inc., in Homestead, Fla., plans to power its avocado packing operations via solar power.

In mid-May, the grower-shipper was installing 4,000 square foot of solar panels that sit on the roof of its avocado and tropicals packing complex.

Fresh King predicts up to 30% savings in electricity purchases through the system, said Alvaro Perpuly, general manager and partner.

Fresh King hopes to realize savings as high as 80%, depending on its success and pricing, Perpuly said.

Fresh King invested $240,000 in the solar panel system, he said.

M&M Farm moves to one-piece box

M&M Farm Inc., Miami, is changing its box configuration.

To improve packing efficiencies, the grower-shipper is moving from a two-piece box to a one-piece box, said Manny Hevia Jr., president and chief executive officer.

The two-piece box includes a bottom with a separate lid.

The new box is similar to a Defor-type box with its own fold-in lid that interlocks on top of other boxes, he said.

M&M plans to transfer one of the workers who formerly put the lids on boxes from the packing line to its quality control area to monitor packings, Hevia said.

The new boxes feature the same footprint as competitor Bruce boxes but is slightly longer, Hevia said.

“This new box will make it nicer when we have bigger avocados,” he said. “They seem to fit better in this box.

“This will cut down on labor, and the boxes also have a little more ventilation.”

New Limeco works to extend season

New Limeco LLC, Princeton, Fla., is trying to expand its later season by adding varieties.

The grower-shipper added 40 acres of new varieties that should help extend its harvest through March, said Eddie Caram, general manager.