When it came time for Blue Mountain Growers, Inc, to choose cherry packaging equipment for their new $3,000,000 cherry line in Milton-Freewater they called Pac Machinery Group (PMG). Back in the winter of ’06, plans for the new line were well underway. What remained was the selection of top quality equipment that was up to the task-at- hand. “To compete globally in today’s produce market, you need quality fruit and state-of-the-art equipment capable of efficiently packing the diverse range of consumer packs that are now available. Our cherry operation continues to grow and the time was right to invest for the future for Blue Mountain and our growers,” stated John Wilcox, Blue Mountain growers General Manager. “PMG’s Fresh Pac vacuum/gas flush equipment seemed the obvious choice for part of the line. “We looked at other machine options” said Al Walker, Plant and Project Manager, “but the Fresh Pac machines really seemed to be the best.” An industry standard for decades, the Fresh Pac machines have the features and durability that packers need.
The new line is expected to improve Blue Mountain’s packing capacity by as much as 36% and also significantly improve packing capabilities. The Fresh Pac machines in tandem with the View Fresh Modified Atmosphere bags and program will help prolong cherry storage life and enables Blue Mountain Growers to ship a fresh product throughout North America and the world. The line includes other specialized equipment as well that completes a truly state-of-the-art facility in Eastern Oregon. Thirty-two filling stations allow Blue Mountain Growers to pack a wide assortment of polybags, clamshells, bulk boxes and the newest idea in cherry packaging – Mesh Bag Cherries.
This year will be especially sweet with Blue Mountain Growers celebrating both the new cherry line and their 80th year as a fruit marketing co-op. “The Blue Mountain Grower label, ‘Blue Goose’ has a strong following in the trade. This cherry line is just part of our ongoing investment in agriculture to ensure that we are creating sustainable agriculture for the generations to come. We are planting new orchards, new varieties and are being innovative in everything we do to compete in today’s ever-changing retail landscape,” states Wilcox.
A ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening will be held on Wednesday, June 20th from 3:00-5:00pm. Alan Walker, Plant and Project Manager will cut the ribbon.
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