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Operational Description

The Beckman & Gast Co. is a small family owned and operated company located in a rural west central Ohio community. The business has been owned and operated by the Gast family since its inception in 1928. Third and fourth generation family members own and control 100% of the operation. All of the shareholders are full time employees of the cooperation. The firm utilizes both on-site and off-site warehouses.

St. Henry Facility
The St. Henry site has been producing food products since 1907. Tomatoes have been processed since 1907 and green beans since 1958. Upon arrival, the raw vegetables are washed, sorted, graded, and manually inspected to remove all foreign material, poor quality and potential contaminations. The vegetables are then cut, peeled, sliced, diced, blanched, or juiced based on daily production requirements. The pre-processed product is then filled into food grade sanitary containers and thermally processed. Tomato juice receives it thermal process prior to filling. After the containers (no labels) are cooled and stacked on pallets, it is warehoused in one on many warehouses until it is needed for the labeling department. The containers are delivered to the labeling department based on sales orders and on an as-needed bases. Both Beckmans brand and private label brands are applied to each container. The containers are then packed in open top trays and palletized. The finished pallets are then staged for shipment. Shipments are usually full truckload orders with a single delivery location.

Personnel
The firm employs less than twenty full-time people. This includes the owner, officers, office administration, sales, managers, maintenance staff, labeling department staff, warehouse staff, and janitorial. There is very little turnover with the full time employees. Most of them have a family tie to the company or have been living in the area their entire life. Suring the planing, growing, and processing period of the year (May-October) the firm utilizes migrant labors generally from the Texas area. Most years, fewer than seventy-five additional labors are hired. Most of these labors have a long history with the company and return year after year. The usage of a crew-leader and direct local hires maintain a very reliable, stable, and knowledgeable workforce.

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