(Feb. 8) Dole Food Co. Inc., Westlake Village, Calif., recently opened a bagged salad plant in North Carolina that happens to be Dole’s largest such operation in the U.S.

Dole announced Feb. 7 that the facility produced its first case of bagged salad on Jan. 23, with the ultimate goal of providing improved service to customers on the South and East Coasts.

In a news release, Dole said the $54 million, 280,000-square-foot Bessemer City location expands its distribution network, and is the company’s first packaged salad operation in the southeast.

“Dole’s ability to operate four regional bagged salad plants allows us to enhance our regional customer service capabilities, whereas before we were dependent on our plant in Ohio for deliveries in the South and East,” said Dole Fresh Vegetables president and chief executive officer Eric Schwartz, in the release.

Dole said the facility features the latest packaging technology and advanced computerized systems to ensure food safety. The Dole bagged salad operation adds to three of the firm’s others in Arizona, California and Ohio, respectively.

Better regional service is new Dole plant’s goal
Dole's new bagged salad plant in Bessemer City, N.C., is the company's largest such operation yet. Dole said the facility should ensure improved service to South and East Coast customers.