HerbCo Hints

Lemon Thyme

Are you a thyme aficionado?  Try Lemon Thyme in your dishes for a citrusy punch.

New Name, Same Great Company!

New Name, Same Great Company!

We are in the process of transitioning our branding from Generation Farms to HerbCo.  Over the next two months you will begin to see us switching out our old name for the new one.  This applies to all packaging, shipping carton, signage, web site and billing materials that we use.  This transition should be completed by January, 2016.

We are still the same great company you depend on to deliver the freshest product with great service, every time.

HerbCo's Motivation on Innovation

In the dizzying world of never-ending mergers and acquisitions, it’s been said that to survive in the business world you must grow or die. While this may be true in a growth sense, it absolutely resonates from a perspective of being on the cutting edge of industry trends and customer preferences. Companies who stagnate and fail to listen to their customers - and competitors – risk becoming irrelevant in the marketplace.

Jim Prevor, editor-in-chief of Produce Business, listed in the October 2010 edition the top 25 innovations that most shaped the produce industry in the past 25 years. Although many of the innovations listed don’t apply to an herb company (e.g. club stores and supercenters, and ripening technology, among others) it’s gratifying to report that HerbCo has been involved in many of the highlights on Mr. Prevor’s list:
  • Clamshell packaging
    • Currently carrying both PET and PLA clamshells. HerbCo was the first herb company in the United States to offer products in PLA, a polymer derived from corn, rather than oil.
  • Consolidation
    • Started as single farm in Duvall, WA; now have purchased farms in MI, CO and TX.
  • Food Safety/traceability
    • Implemented GAP and GMP programs in all divisions (see the Food Safety section in this website).
  • Greenhouse produce
    • Growing Living Basil in all divisions
  • Large scale organic farming
    • Currently farming over 220 acres of land and 350,000 square feet of greenhouse space across the nation.
  • Locally grown
    • Our business model is to grow locally first and foremost.
  • Organics
    • Every division is USDA certified organic.
  • Private label
    • We pack under many grocers’ labels.
  • Sustainability
    • Sustainable farming means treating the land with respect. We keep the land productive by farming organically, replacing lost nutrients with compost, applying cover crops, and allowing the land to lie fallow as needed.
  • Third party audits
    • Every farm is audited annually by Primus Labs®.
  • Value added
    • Adding exciting, relevant new items provides value to the consumer and is part of our growth strategy.
So far, so good, but what are we working on now? One of our biggest projects is validating the movement to provide as much local product as possible in all of our sites across the nation. This includes expanding outside farming and greenhouse growing operations in Shelbyville, MI; increasing farmland acreage production in Rice, TX; and working with a contract farmer in Denver, CO to provide local organic greenhouse-grown herbs for our Rocky Mountain Herbs site. Additionally, a third living basil greenhouse is under construction in Duvall, WA to meet growing demand. Will the local-grown movement make it to the next Top 25 list? With the traction it’s gaining, we certainly wouldn’t be surprised.

 

HerbCo Texas passes stringent GFS Audits

HerbCo Texas (formerly Generation Farms) is pleased to announce that it is the first HerbCo farm to pass the stringent GFS series of Packing House, GAP and Harvest Crew audits. These three audits are designed to review respectively best practices in the packing facility; the farm; and for the crews that harvest product on the farm. The GFSI, or Global Food Safety Initiative, strives to establish a strict portfolio of food safety standards that would be globally recognized and respected by major food retailers and certification authorities. GFSI is gaining traction in the United States, and may be adopted by various major retailers in the near future. GFS audits are more exhaustive than traditional audits, and delve into more details on record keeping; additional detailed inspections and follow up of facilities and field operations; supplier monitoring; and product testing.

Congratulations to HerbCo Texas for taking their food safety program to the next level!

Michigan Fine Herbs Opens New Facility

Michigan Fine Herbs is proud to announce the occupancy of our new packing facility in Shelbyville, Michigan.  Customers and crew enjoyed a grand opening party to celebrate the occasion.  Totaling over 11,200 square feet, the  building includes 4,000 square feet of refrigerated production area, 1,400 square feet of cooler space and a large office.

The production area boasts two new mechanized packing lines that feature automatic labelers and ink jet printers, a trash compactor, and a 200 kilowatt backup generator. Along with these improvements, we have expanded our workforce to over 60 employees, including additional production, office, sales and delivery folks. We’ve added a new Hino truck to handle our growing business, bringing our fleet to a total of four refrigerated trucks.

“We couldn’t be happier with the move into our beautiful new facility”, remarked Vince Tuinstra, General Manager. “It’s a tremendous asset to our customers and crew. We are looking forward to servicing our customers more efficiently for a long time to come with the highest quality and customer service.”

Grand opening party

Facility exterior