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CMI give bird’s eye view of new packing facility

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With over 500,000 square feet of new packinglines equipped with the latest technological machinery, capturing the scope of McDougall & Sons’ new operation on video couldn’t be accurately portrayed without taking to the skies.

According to Katharine Grove, marketing specialist at CMI, the new facility is so expansive that capturing the size and scope presented a major challenge.

“There is really no way to appreciate the magnitude of this facility without seeing it from the air,” she said. “So that’s exactly what we did in the video, using an HD drone to shoot the plant from above. We also took some calculated risks with the shoot, precariously flying a drone inside our new facility above live-running apple lines to show the notable features of the new plant.”

Grove suggests that over the last 20 years there have been very few apple facilities of this size built from the ground up.

“Most apple packing plants here are grown incrementally, with growers gradually expanding and adding on to existing warehouses,” said Grove. “McDougall & Sons started with a detailed plan, a large chunk of open land, and built it 100 percent from the ground up.”

Bryon McDougall, vice president of McDougall & Sons, said the plant required more than five years of planning and construction.

“Looking at the future growth of our company orchards plus the growth of our independent grower base, we knew the only way moving forward was building a brand new facility,” he said. “While building from the ground up is more costly, strategically it was the best option for managing our future needs.”

The new McDougall & Sons’ facility is already packing all conventional apple varieties including Red Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Pink Lady and Ambrosia, which are marketed by CMI.

Building facts:

  • Completed in July 2014 (apple room) and June 2015 (cherry room)
  • Over 500,000 square feet
  • Separate apple and cherry facilities
  • Packaged fruit capacity is 350,000 cartons
  • CA storage capacity is 1 million cartons
  • Packing capacity per shift is 12,000 cartons
  • 15 open loading docks with expansion to 30
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