Storage of Fruit

From conceptual idea to construction

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Rent a ULO-cell
(Ultra Low Oxygen) in Vittsjö (South Sweden)

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  Meet one of our clients

Alexander Ekstam



The ULO-storage facility completely changed their 'bottom line'.

The ULO-storage facility completely changed their 'bottom line'. Vänersbergs Frukt AB is located in the South of Sweden, where the apple- and pear orchards are located in a beautiful landscape. The company is located about 30 kilometers north east of Kristianstad and was one of the first in Sweden to install a ULO-storage facility.

Per Nilsson and his son Alexander Ekstam together run this family owned business. Vänersbergs Frukt has an almost century old tradition of growing fruit and Alexander Ekstam is the fourth generation to run this family business.

"In the end of the nineties, we considered to close down the firm because the financial results were so bad", Per Nilsson explains. "I don’t remember where, but somewhere I had read about another fruit grower that installed a ULO-storage facility." "The decision to build a ULO-storage facility has completely turned around the financial results of our company", Per Nilsson says. "In 2000 we had our first ULO Cell built and in 2013 the latest cell was added".

"Before we built the first ULO-cell, it was difficult to achieve positive financial results. When Saarloos built our first ULO-cell in the year 2000, completely different opportunities for the future opened up", Alexander Ekstam says. Now all year round we are able to supply fruit to the retail business. The first room has a fruit storage capacity of 110 tons.

Today, Vänersbergs Frukt has a total of five ULO-storage rooms, which together have a fruit storage capacity of 400 tons. The average annual production is about 500 tons of fruit. Next to the ULO-storage facility is a handling facility where the apples and pears get a 'water bath' before being sorted and packed.

"We are very satisfied with the performance of Saarloos, both in constructing the facility and, what for us is very important, the service after completion of the facility. If problems occurred, Saarloos quickly came to our facility to help us to solve it, which is great and gives a comfortable feeling, "says Per Nilsson, and explains that a ULO-storage facility may not stop running, as, in that case,  the harvest stored in the cells will be damaged or completely destroyed. If a harvest is damaged or destroyed in a ULO-storage facility, a part of the company’s annual turnover is at risk to be lost.

It is definitely an advantage that Saarloos is now based in the South of Sweden but when Saarloos still was based in Holland, they regularly had projects in Sweden. Whenever Leendert Saarloos had a trip to Sweden, he made sure to pass by Vänersbergs Frukt to make sure that everything was functioning properly.

There are of course some differences between the first ULO-cell which was built for Vänersbergs Frukt and the last one. While the first cell is still functioning very well, one clearly understands that Saarloos is constantly upgrading their ULO facility designs and construction methodologies according to the latest developments in the 'Ultra Low Oxygen' technology.  The storage room which was constructed most recently has thicker walls and is using less energy because further advanced ULO-technology has been implemented. You can clearly see the developments evolve.

With the future in mind, Vänersbergs Frukt continuously work on the development of different parts of the company: Fruit trees shouldn’t of course be too old and through a quality assurance system, they thoroughly check the quality of their fruit. One more ULO-storage cell might be required in the future.

Marloes Öhrnell