Watsonville, Calif.-based Monterey Mushrooms Inc. is kicking off the company’s 41st year with a more environmentally friendly approach to packaging: new fiber tills and trays.

Monterey Mushrooms unveils 'green' packaging“The fiber is sustainable, biodegradable and recyclable — a total departure from the polystyrene tills and trays that most of the industry is using,” said Joe Caldwell, vice president.

Monterey Mushrooms packages portabellas in trays, while white and brown mushrooms are packaged in tills, which are smaller versions of trays, he said.

Another advantage of the fiber tills and trays is a printable surface, which Caldwell said Monterey Mushrooms is using to provide consumers with information on nutrition, recipes and the versatility of mushrooms.

The new labels will be on display at the company’s booth at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit Oct. 14-17 in Atlanta.

The new packaging is being released just days after Monterey Mushroom celebrated the company’s 40th birthday Sept. 16. Since its founding, second generation, family-owned Monterey Mushrooms has grown to nationwide distribution of fresh, processed and packaged mushrooms.

“We produce more than 200 million pounds of domestic mushrooms a year as well as specialty, canned, frozen and dried mushroom products,” Caldwell said.

Among the company’s milestones during its first 40 years, he said, was the introduction of Clean ‘N Ready washed mushrooms, mushrooms in zip-lock poly bags and collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the development of Vitamin D-containing mushrooms.