Client: AC Foods – Silver Mountain Processing
Location: Sublimity, Oregon
Project Size: 45,000 sq. ft. Processing Renovation
25,500 sq. ft. New Cooler and Dock
10,800 sq. ft. Dry Storage Building
Owner: Agriculture Capital
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 remain competitive in the marketplace.
FISHER'S PHASED CONSTRUCTION APPROACH
creates high-care facility between processing seasons
AC Foods identified just such potential when they hired Fisher Construction Group to convert an existing building into a high-care blueberry processing plant.
Envisioning 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, adding multiple food safety features including washdown walls and spot drains. A 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 sq. ft.fully-racked cooler and loading dock. When hearing about the customer’s desire to regulate the cooling of blueberries more efficiently, Fisher designed and built a custom cable system to raise and lower tarp canopies over the totes of berries as they cooled.
By working with Fisher’s team, which included MEP | food processing specialists, AC Foods was able to concentrate on their business as a vertically integrated grower, processor and shipper and creating a product that pleases the customer every single time.