Ocean Mist Farms, based in Castroville, CA, completed the upgrade and expansion of its Baja Mist production facility in order to increase Mexico-grown product offerings. The company celebrated the opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony May 23 at the facility located in the Mexicali Valley of Mexico.
By expanding the size, the plant has doubled the capacity to process and ship all Ocean Mist commodities grown in Mexico, including iceless green onions, Brussels sprouts, leeks and radishes.
The facility mirrors the company's U.S. operations from a processing and food safety standpoint, according to Troy Boutonnet, vice president of production at Ocean Mist Farms.
Prior to the expansion, the Ocean Mist Farms facility in Mexico was at maximum capacity. In the latest 26-weeks ending March 26, dollar and volume sales of the green onion category increased more than 9 percent nationally compared to the prior year, according to the Perishables Group's FreshFacts.
"We are now poised to meet growing customer demand for green onions and Brussels sprouts," Mr. Boutonnet said in a July 25 press release.
Ocean Mist Farms developed the state-of-the-art cooler and process design after years of observing processing facilities in and out of the produce sector, including Coca-Cola Mexico. That led to design innovations that address product quality, shelf life, food safety, employee comfort in the work environment and security, Mr. Boutonnet said.
"The upgraded design of our plant in Mexico exceeds the current industry standards for product risk management," Mr. Boutonnet added in the press release. "We want this facility to be a showcase for all green onion producers regardless of the location."