Basciani looking to expand operation
The Mushroom Council’s “blendability” program, which encourages consumers and foodservice operators to blend mushrooms with meat in a variety of dishes, could result in an expansion program for Basciani Mushroom Farms, Avondale, Pa., general manager Fred Recchiuti said.
The company already has completed the land development process and has obtained the necessary permits from the local government.
“We’re waiting to get through the heat this summer and see how the market goes,” Recchiuti said.
Champs Mushrooms, Langley, British Columbia, has been implementing some renovations and expansions as it integrates its box and carton-erecting system into its in-house operation, said Rick Watters, sales and marketing manager.
The company now folds its boxes at one facility and ships them out to 10 farms. In the past, the process was done off-site.
The company also has introduced new 5- and 10-pound open-taper boxes that display better at retail and provide extra stacking strength on the pallet, Watters said.
Dole introduces improved packaging
Dole Mushrooms, Kennett Square, Pa., has converted all of its packaging to environmentally friendly RPET materials, said Gary Schroeder, director.
The company switched many of its tills to RPET materials as they became available, but there was not a good alternative design for its flat, foam tray.
“We finally came up with one, and it allows us to move away from foam,” Schroeder said.
Dole Mushrooms also has designed new master cartons.
“We use less cardboard and get more pounds on a single pallet,” he said.
Gourmet Mushrooms going mainstream
Gourmet Mushrooms Inc., Sebastopol, Calif., is reviving the heirloom shiitake mushroom, said Meg Hill, director of sales and marketing.
The firm also has expanded its retail line into Safeway stores in Oregon and in Washington, “which is huge news for a small farm,” she said.
The company already was in the chain’s California stores.
Gourmet Mushrooms’ overall growth is noteworthy because it is taking place within established grocery stores, not just organic specialty stores, which traditionally have been the main buyers for its line of specialty mushrooms.
“It’s gone mainstream,” Hill said.