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Castroville, CA-based Ocean Mist Farms is completing the expansion of its Baja Mist production facility in order to increase its Mexico-grown product offerings. The facility is located in Mexico's Mexicali Valley.

When completed in January, the plant will have double its previous capacity for processing and shipping "Ocean Mist" iceless green onions, Brussels sprouts, leeks and radishes, with room to add other items in the future.

The facility will mirror the company’s U.S. operations from a processing and food-safety standpoint, according to a press release the company issued Dec. 6.

As of early December, 90 percent of all the facility’s ancillary buildings, docks (receiving and loading) and new additions were complete.

Customer demand for green onions and Brussels sprouts exceeded Oceans Mist’s current capacity, according to the press release, which added that in the latest 52 weeks ending Aug. 28, 2010, Brussels sprouts sales increased 12.5 percent nationally compared to the prior year, bringing average sales to $62 per store and per week. Ocean Mist attributed those data to the Perishables Group’s FreshFacts.

The state-of-the-art, innovative cooler design, which will allow Ocean Mist to keep pace with the growing demand for its products, was the result of many years of observing existing green onion processing facilities, leading to design innovations addressing product quality, shelf life and product food safety and security, according to the release.

“Our design greatly exceeds the current industry standards for product risk management,” Troy Boutonnet, Ocean Mist Farms’ vice president of production, said in the release. “We want this facility to be a showcase for all green onion producers regardless of the location.”