Jan 20, 2023
South Mill Champs opens new mushroom farm
South Mill Champs, a leading North American grower and supplier of fresh mushrooms, has opened a new, state-of-the-art farm in Oxford, Pennsylvania.
Green initiatives, including solar panels and water reducing technologies, are being implemented at the facility. The Kennett Square-headquartered company offers USDA- and California-certified organic mushrooms, available fresh, canned, frozen or refrigerated, among its products.
The farm aims to generate the majority of its electricity from a renewable source, capture and reuse millions of gallons of rain and wastewater, and upcycle thousands of tons of agricultural byproducts and other waste materials in the making of compost. Its grand opening marks the completion of the first phase of the multi-year, multi-phase farm and compost operation buildout.
“Mushrooms are continuing to surge in popularity as consumers become more proactive about their health,” Lewis Macleod, CEO of South Mill Champs, said in a news release. “As a company, we’ve experienced tremendous success on the fresh side of the business, and we have grown our portfolio of mushroom-forward food products to align with consumers’ needs as they aim to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diets. Increased production will support existing and planned growth across all customer channels.”
The new facility will feature automated and environmentally efficient climate control and watering systems that will increase product quality while improving controls and the cold chain at all stages of production, resulting in improved mushroom production yields.
“We’ve been innovating since the beginning,” said Mike Pia Jr., South Mill Champs vice president of business growth. “Our family has been producing compost and growing mushrooms for over 90 years in Pennsylvania. Our approach is, and has always been, to stay nimble and adapt to new technologies as they become available and proven. There is a growing demand for fresh quality produce, and we want to meet that demand with the best product possible for our partners and, ultimately, the consumer. This new facility will allow us to do just that.”
Local construction partners with experience in the mushroom industry were contracted to build the facility, and the steel used in its construction was sourced from Pennsylvania steel mills. In addition, South Mill Champs added more than 100 harvesting and operational jobs upon completion of phase one of the buildout.