Farmers have long known the value of maximizing a fruit or vegetable harvest by focusing on processing and packaging diversity. Root cellars and canning date back historically but are very relevant to our current food supply desire to bring the freshest and minimally processed produce to market in any harvest cycle. "Market" now looks a little different; finding roadside produce stands or small town farmers markets makes for a wonderful weekend, but farms area also interested in bulk, mass market opportunities. Newer technology like IQF or individual quick freeze options and packaging appropriate to longer storage of produce, trim/cut and packaged fresh vegetables, and the use of "unpretty" fruit in juices or purees allow growers to get their produce to as many retailers, institutions, co-packers, distributors, and homes as possible in the short amount of time each harvest cycle allows.
Washington State Department of Agriculture has examined the farm, food processor, distributor hub supply chain dynamic and indicated more work is necessary to bring small and mid-sized farms together with fresh and IQF processors and/or their own processing equipment. Sometimes farmers reported needing to invest in customized equipment that fit the space and facility constraints they had available to dedicate to processing. It was also reported that produce purchasers had needs that were not being filled by farmers and processors in Washington due to lack of food processing facility capacity, lack of needed certifications such as organic, or lack of specific equipment needed by smaller farmer processors. If you would like to read more about the outcomes of this Washington State Department of Agriculture-let study, you can source the entire project write up here.
The founders of Andgar, back in 1973, based here in Whatcom County, Washington's robust berry growing community, felt strongly about serving the needs of our agricultural community, and supporting the growth of our farms. Listening to challenges and gaining knowledge directly from farmers about what they feel they need to expand their businesses, incorporate processing advancements, and benefit from the value of the whole harvest is how Andgar Food Processing Equipment, LLC evolved right alongside our community farmer partners.
The freshness, sanitation, efficiency, inventory management, and maximization of harvest gains that Andgar Food Processing Equipment now brings to farms and processing facilities is only one step in supply chain success. But if we can help a farmer or processor say yes to a new market or grow into processing new products because they now have access to the right equipment that fits the way they do business, we're going to be there to help the entire way.
While there is still much infrastructure and connection needed to bridge gaps between the needs of fruit and vegetable producers and buyers, the collaborative efforts of farmers, processors, co-packers, distributors, equipment manufacturers like Andgar Food Processing Equipment, and government agencies like the Washington State Department of Agriculture are continuing to gain traction, providing hope for small and mid-sized farms wanting direct access to buyers of fresh and minimally processed packaged fruit and vegetables.
We want to help farmers, processors and co-packers say yes to business growth with their core harvest, and with new product offerings because they finally have the equipment they need. At Andgar Food Processing Equipment, LLC our partnership, our commitment, does not end with the sale of equipment. That's just the beginning. Once a piece of our equipment is purchased, we are invested in the success of each customer's operation. We offer ongoing service, support, and consultation to facilitate the right fit, and maximize facility runtime. We truly enjoy helping our customers plan for growth and designing ways to help facilities control costs, optimize product flow, manage resources, and continue to offer safe, quality fruit, vegetable, and nut products into our food supply chain.
If you are or know of a farmer, co-packer, fruit, vegetable or other food processing facility that could benefit from information about the equipment Andgar Food Processing Equipment, LLC manufactures, and the customizable equipment system options available, please reach out via our Contact Us Page or call 360-366-9900, option 4.