Mushroom business updates

07/27/2012 03:12:00 PM
Tom Burfield

AMI issues training DVD for growers

The American Mushroom Institute, Washington, D.C., has issued a training DVD to its members that covers 15 areas that employees need to be familiar with before they start work, said Laura Phelps, president.

The 20-minute “Food Safety Training for Mushroom Farm Employees” was filmed at a mushroom farm and is available in English and Spanish. It covers personal hygiene, hand washing and other topics.

Posters with icons depicting the 15 areas also are available.

Basciani Mushroom names manager

Basciani Mushroom Farms, Avondale, Pa., has promoted Duane Dedominic to the position of transportation manager, said Fred Recchiuti, general manager.

The company also is bringing a Produce Pro tracking system up to speed to help the firm comply with the Produce Traceability initiative. The system should help Basciani gain efficiencies, Recchiuti said.

Dole Mushrooms plans to unveil label at PMA

Dole Mushrooms, Kennett Square, Pa., plans to introduce new product labeling at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit convention in Anaheim, Calif., in October, said Gary Schroeder, director.

The company’s mushroom packaging will have a new look and include new nutrition claims related to the product’s vitamin D content, he said. Dole Mushrooms also plans to launch a revamped website in September.

Giorgio Foods adds vitamin D product

Carole Opel, who has been with Temple, Pa.-based Giorgio Foods Inc. for 10 years, now works for Giorgio Fresh Co. on fresh mushroom sales and sister company Giorgio Foods on frozen product sales with responsibilities in the Southeast, said Bill Litvin, vice president of sales and national account manager.

Opel, based in southeastern Georgia, will support fresh sales efforts in Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. 

Giorgio also now offers vitamin D-enhanced mushrooms to the retail trade.

“We are packing a 6-ounce portabella cap and a 6-ounce sliced portabella with 100% of the recommended daily allowance,” Litvin said.

Kitchen Pride to offer enriched mushrooms

Kitchen Pride Mushroom Farms Inc., Gonzales, Texas, hopes to offer vitamin D-enriched white, portabella and crimini mushrooms by the end of the year, said James Sweatt, director of sales.

The Mushroom Council has been focusing on that nutrition aspect, and the company is conducting tests to determine the level of vitamin D its process will create.

“We don’t want to put anything on the label that we can’t substantiate,” Sweatt said.

The company also has completed some capital upgrades, including roofing and parking lot paving and has achieved SQF level 3 food safety certification for the third year.

Last year, the company also passed its GFSI farm audit, which is preferred by many retailers, he said.

Monterey Mushrooms adds sustainable pack

Monterey Mushrooms Inc., Watsonville, Calif., continues to roll out its new sustainable package, said vice president Joe Caldwell.

“The new design with matching tills and labels gives consumers more information about recipe ideas, nutrition and versatility,” he said.

“Consumer feedback has been tremendous.”

The company also hired Connie Allen, most recently with the Atlanta office of C.H. Robinson, as sales manager for the Southeast region.

She will be responsible for retail and foodservice sales in the region.



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