Project Description

Client: AC Foods – Silver Mountain Processing
Location: Sublimity, Oregon
Owner: Agriculture Capital
Project Size:

45,000 sq. ft. Processing Renovation
25,500 sq. ft. New Cooler and Dock
10,800 sq. ft. Dry Storage Building

Fisher’s Phased Construction Approach

High-Care Facility Between Processing Seasons

Crop farming is a high stakes endeavor these days. International competition, a dwindling labor pool, and food safety all vie for attention. Like many growers and processors, AC Foods looks for every possible opportunity to optimize product freshness and flavor. And above all remain competitive in the marketplace.

AC Foods identified just such potential when they hired Fisher Construction Group to convert an existing building into a high-care blueberry processing plant.

They envisioned a highly-mechanized processing facility which treated berries ‘kindly’. AC Foods and their investment company, Agriculture Capital, worked with Fisher’s design | build team to transform their concepts into reality.

Using a phased construction approach, Fisher converted the former Christmas tree seedling facility into a blueberry processing plant. Prior to the first season, the processing area was completely renovated. It added multiple food safety features including washdown walls and spot drains. Additionally, new refrigeration system was installed and blast cooling rooms also were built. To answer the need for fire protection in the rural area, Fisher conceived a wastewater lagoon which doubles as a fire retention pond.

With the first processing season wrapped up, Fisher returned to add a 25,500 SF fully-racked cooler and loading dock. At this time, the need to regulate the cooling of blueberries more efficiently was addressed. As a result, Fisher designed and built a custom cable system to raise and lower tarp canopies over the totes of berries as they cooled.

Fisher’s team, included MEP | food processing specialists. With them, AC Foods was able to concentrate on their business as a vertically integrated grower, processor, and shipper. Most importantly, creating a product that pleases the customer every single time.