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Maurice A. Auerbach benefiting greatly at new facility

Maurice A. Auerbach moved to its new state-of-the-art facility in Secaucus, NJ, last fall. Bruce Klein, director of marketing for the company, told The Produce News that the 60,000-square-foot facility has 45,000 square feet of refrigeration and an unbroken cold chain. The construction also offers enhanced sustainability.

“As we’re in the facility fBruce-KleinBruce Klein, Auerbach’s director of marketingor going on one year, we pretty much have our ducks in a row and are well settled now,” said Mr. Klein. “We certainly are benefiting from the increased efficiencies we now have. And the unbroken cold chain is a major benefit of the new facility. It’s easier for us to do more business, and that was our goal.”

He added that the facility accommodates the company’s food-safety initiatives and leaves room for future programs related to food safety and traceability.

The company is a third-generation family-owned business that started distributing garlic during World War II. In the 1970s, it expanded its product line to include a variety of produce sourced from around the world. It specializes in garlic, shallots and other specialty items, including tropical and Asian produce, and it handles organic garlic, shallots and tofu.

In the fall of 2012, Maurice A. Auerbach introduced its “Auerpak” brand of vacuum-packed garlic, which it refers to as the “vac-pack” in both conventional and organic options.

“Response has grown steadily since it was first introduced,” said Mr. Klein. “The six individual sections are separately vacuum-packed, allowing for the perfect amount in each section for recipes. It’s a sealed product, and it eliminates any problems at the register as it cannot be mistaken for a different item. We’re working on a diced garlic product in a similar type package, but it will initially be offered only in our conventional line. Of course, if it performs as well as we expect, it could eventually be offered in an organic option.”

He added that the company currently offers a three-pound bag of chopped garlic for the foodservice industry. The garlic is domestically grown and is triple washed. It also has a nice shelf life of 35 to 45 days.

Maurice A. Auerbach is the exclusive Northeast distributor of “Mori Nu” brand tofu. The tofu is tetra packed to ensure freshness, and it does not require refrigeration until the package is opened.

Mr. Klein noted that the energy management at the new facility is connected to its cool-down system automatically to ensure that it is as energy efficient as possible.

“All product that isn’t packed, such as peel or other produce waste, goes into a separate cylinder with a layer of ozone,” said Mr. Klein. “When it’s filled, a company picks up the cylinder and [its contents are] used for fertilizer. Our goal is to be as green as possible, and in every possible way.”

The new facility is also highly secure.

“It’s like getting into or out of Fort Knox,” said Mr. Klein. “The security system includes highly advanced facial recognition that allows people into only certain areas of the facility. With food safety being one of the top issues today, we take it seriously. This system helps to ensure the safety of all of our products.”

Mr. Klein said that organic products continue to demand a premium over conventional items, adding, “Prices are leveling off a little, but there is still a premium on organics.”