Virginia Produce Company has created a business model for the wholesale distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables that’s simple, yet extremely effective by allowing everyone to concentrate on their strengths. Farmers focus on planting and growing crops, while Virginia Produce manages the packaging and delivery of produce to stores.
Ossid recommended its 500Si High Speed Stretch Overwrapper to Virginia Produce as a way to not only achieve its higher production goals, but presents their products – such as corn, tomatoes, cucumbers and other produce – in packaging designed to help keep food fresh, safe, and ready to be sold.
“Before, our old machines were averaging 25-30 packs a minute, now we’re achieving 75-80 packs a minute. So, it’s really helped us be more efficient in what we do.”Kevin Beamer, President of Virginia Produce Company
Ossid Tray Overwrapping Helps Virginia Produce Company Add Culture to its Fresh Agricultural Produce
The Virginia Produce company has been a family run business for decades, and the Beamer family wouldn’t have it any other way. The family’s roots in produce stretch all the way back to the 1950s when Keith Beamer began selling fresh fruits and vegetables from the back of his truck. Fast forward three decades Keith’s son, Moir, helped his dad take the next step by together opening up a produce retail market in Virginia. With their business thriving, Moir had an idea to start another company that specialized in value added products, while also helping local farmers get the most from their crops. That vision became reality in 2002, with Virginia Produce Company.
Right now, we farm manage, so we purchase crops from local farmers and then we sell them to retailers so we’re kind of that middle guy that markets and sells for farmers.
Hillsville, VA based Virginia Produce Company has created a business model for the wholesale distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables that’s simple yet extremely effective by allowing everyone to concentrate on their strengths. Farmers focus on planting and growing crops, while Virginia Produce manages the processing, packaging, and delivery of produce to stores. And in keeping with tradition, Moir’s two children, Jennifer and Kevin, have happily followed in their father’s footsteps, by working alongside him, creating a truly family first culture that’s rare these days in business.
It’s a great feeling and a great thought to know every morning when you go to work, you’re going to be going to work and seeing your children right there with you. You know so many people are not that blessed. Even when I retire, their kids will come right in and they can have that same way of life that I have.
I enjoy just being with my family, you know, there’s lots of families that love each other but they don’t have to like each other, but we’re a family who love and like each other as well. I just really love that I’m able to work here with my dad and my brother and many other members of my family that work here with me.
This road map to success didn’t happen overnight for Virginia Produce. But rather, through developing strong partnerships with farmers, grocers, and equipment suppliers, like Ossid, to produce professionally designed packaging that’s appealing to shoppers.
So, Virginia Produce started out with an elevator style machine, not very conducive to high production volume. After talking with Moir and Kevin, I found out that they had earned some new business and needed a machine that could help with high speed production, which is where Ossid came into play.
We went from one year trimming probably somewhere around 5 to 6000 cases of corn a week, and then we landed a lot of new business and we jumped to some weeks as much as 30,000 cases a week. We had to figure out some way somehow to get faster and better at what we do. We just like the design of the Ossid, how it flows straight through, it doesn’t lift up, that’s what won us over.
Ossid is well known for its tray overwrap style of packaging, which has become the preferred choice by both grocers and consumers alike because it minimizes food contamination, displays products well, and allows for multi-pack packaging. Ossid recommended it’s 500Si high speed stretch overwrapper to Virginia Produce as a way to not only achieve its higher production goals, but presents their products, such as corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, and other produce in packaging designed to help keep food fresh, safe, and ready to be sold.
The great thing about the 500Si – it’s very versatile. You can run a wide variety of different tray sizes, everywhere from a number 2 to a number 15 tray. It’s got high production volume, you can run up to 120 packages per minute. And really one of the things that sets us apart on the 500Si versus competitors is the way we actually handle the material, which allows us to use a much narrower web width of film for that package.
Today, Virginia Produce Company has three Ossid 500Si machines in operation.
Before, on the old machines, we averaged 25 to 30 packs a minute now we’re seeing anything from 75 to 80 packs a minute, so it’s really helped us be more efficient in what we do.
Ossid also helps Virginia Produce achieve its sanitary goals as it holds the SQF food safety code for manufacturing certification, which means Virginia Produce conforms to guidelines for safe storage processing and distribution of its food products. Another way Ossid is helping Virginia Produce be successful is through its factory acceptance testing and training on new equipment.
The training part of it down there as far as them showing you how to take the machine apart, clean the machine, everything I mean if you don’t do that, you’re missing out. You really are missing out if you don’t do that. It’s a great experience going down there and getting to go through everything with them for three days.
It’s definitely stepped up our speed as far as production goes from the previous wrappers we were using. It’s a good quality product, it’s a good wrapper, and also good assistance from everyone at Ossid when we needed it. It seems to be everything gets done in a timely manner and everyone is on the same page.
We want to partner with customers, and I really rarely use the word customer, it’s our partner you know. We’re in this together. Your success is a direct reflection on us. We’re here to help you, here to watch you grow and we want to be part of that process. Virginia Produce is a great company to be partnered with if there’s any issues that are ever brought up, usually I’m the first line of defense but it’s the response that we have, it’s the open line of communication, and they’ve just really been a true pleasure to work with.
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Ossid provides superior tray overwrapping, flow wrapping, weigh price labeling, case scales, and horizontal thermoform fill & seal machinery. We are committed to designing and building solutions that protect product quality and fully meet our customers’ production needs.