Basciani Louisiana unit gets up to speed
Basciani Foods Inc., Avondale, Pa., is making progress bringing up to speed the abandoned mushroom farm it took over last year in Independence, La., said Fred Recchiuti, general manager.
The facility, which grows and processes white mushrooms, portabellas and criminis, is “running pretty strong,” he said.
The company recently installed a vacuum cooler, “which is key for mushrooms,” Recchiuti said.
The vacuum cooler can cool mushrooms from 60 degrees to 35 degrees in 15 minutes, compared with two to three days in a regular cooler.
“There’s a huge advantage in shelf life,” he said.
Dole Mushrooms fills logistics manager slot
Quintin Schroeder has filled a newly created position of logistics manager, said Gary Schroeder, president of Kennett Square, Pa.-based Oakshire Mushroom Farm, which doesbusiness as Dole Mushrooms.
Quintin Schroeder, Gary Schroeder’s son, has worked with the Ogden, Utah, location of Dallas-based Kimberly-Clark Corp.
Dole Mushrooms also plans to unveil a label by spring that will include health claims for its mushrooms. The new labels will be in line with changes Dole already has made on its labels for salads and fresh vegetables.
Essex Continental plans to boost organic
Essex Continental Inc., Montreal, will focus on organic mushrooms this year, said Frank Ferrarelli, general manager.
The company’s volume of organic and exotic mushrooms already is on the rise, he said, and organics plays a bigger role every year.
Essex Continental should see a bigger increase than usual this year because the company plans to open a farm dedicated exclusively to organic mushrooms.
Up to 3% of the firm’s 70,000 boxes of fresh mushrooms is organic.
“It wasn’t even close to that two or three years ago,” Ferrarelli said.
Within the next two to three years, up to 10% of the company’s fresh mushrooms should be organic.
The company’s organic varieties are primarily white, crimini and portabella.
Essex Continental has been shipping organic mushrooms for about seven years.
Food safety a priority at Giorgio Foods
Food safety continues to be a priority at Giorgio Foods Inc., Temple, Pa., said Bill Litvin, vice president of sales and national account manager.