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Future Port Facility Could Make Produce In Houston Cheaper

The Port of Houston plans to add a refrigerated facility that could for the first time store fresh fruits and vegetables.


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Currently, many fruits and vegetables from places like South America come to Houston via ports on the East Coast. The future facility near Houston's Bayport Container Terminal would eliminate that extra step.

Ricky Kunz, chief commercial officer at the Port of Houston Authority, said the port has long had facilities capable of storing frozen food, especially meat, "but we have not had a facility that was really capable of handling chilled, such as fruits and vegetables."

He said as a result, a lot of produce will enjoy a longer shelf life in Houston grocery stores and possibly be cheaper due to lower transportation costs.

It's also good news for organizations like the Houston Food Bank, which distributes surplus food to charities.

"Any time that you have food, especially produce, stopping at some point, then there's opportunities where it will be surplus, where they'll say, geez, we don't have a buyer for these seven tractor-trailer loads. Hey, Houston Food Bank, can you take it?" Brian Greene, the nonprofit's CEO, said.

Kunz said the 300,000-square-foot facility should be built and finished within the next two years by Agro Merchants Group. It will serve not only Houston but other parts of the U.S. as well.

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