Contessa Premium Foods Opens First and Largest LEED-Registered Frozen Food- Manufacturing Plant in the World

Contessa Sets New Industry Standard in Environmental Responsibility

Oct 25, 2007, 01:00 ET from Contessa Premium Foods

    LOS ANGELES HARBOR, Calif., Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- On October 18,
 Contessa Premium Foods offered a VIP sneak peek of its revolutionary Green
 Cuisine(TM) Plant, the world's first and largest environmentally
 responsible, LEED-certified frozen-food manufacturing plant. The event
 offered Contessa business associates, political dignitaries and
 green-minded influencers the first glimpse of the facility via tours led by
 Contessa President and CEO John Z. Blazevich and company representatives.
     The presentation portion of the event, hosted by Sara Snow of Discovery
 Health Channel's "Get Fresh with Sara Snow," included a proclamation by the
 city of Commerce, renaming the street where the plant is located "Contessa
     This is the first time the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has
 awarded LEED certification to a frozen-food manufacturing facility, thereby
 setting a new industry standard. The LEED rating system is the national
 standard for the design, construction and operation of green buildings, and
 recognizes five areas of environmental and human health: sustainable site
 development, water savings, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality
 and selection of materials.
     Located in Los Angeles, the new plant - a 4-million-cubic-foot
 facility, costing more than $35 million, that will produce up to 150
 million pounds of product the first year alone - will use advanced design
 and technology to significantly reduce Contessa's environmental impact. The
 facility, its processes, and the product manufactured there will be known
 as "Green Cuisine."
     "Until now, the USGBC has never LEED-certified a frozen-food
 manufacturing facility," said John Z. Blazevich, CEO and President of
 Contessa. "As a leader in our industry, we didn't wait for environmental
 standards to be established. Instead, we collaborated with LEED and decided
 to raise the bar for the entire industry and to do the right thing for the
 long-term sustainability of our environment."
     The new Contessa plant excels in all five areas of the LEED rating
 system. Some of the more notable features include:
     --  A solar-power array that reduces carbon dioxide emissions by more than
         730,000 pounds each year, producing an effect similar to conserving
         276 acres of pine forest - roughly the size of 209 football fields,
         including end zones - each year.
     --  A water preheating system that saves energy by redirecting the heat
         used in refrigeration coils to the plant's boilers.
     --  Variable frequency drives that adjust the amount of power supplied to
         motors at specific times or under specific conditions to minimize
         energy use.
     --  An innovative loading dock that prevents the loss of refrigerated air,
         reducing temperature fluctuation - and energy use - in the loading
         dock area.
     Along with setting out to surpass environmental expectations, there are
 several "first-to-market" innovations Blazevich put into practice, such as
 the heat-redirection system that has never before been used in a
 temperature- controlled manufacturing plant. Typically, to keep
 refrigerator coils from freezing over, they are periodically injected with
 hot gas, which normally dissipates into the air. Contessa's plant was
 designed to capture that gas and redirect it to a water storage tank, where
 it preheats the water stored there. Because the water is warmed before it
 reaches the boilers, the amount of energy needed to get the water up to the
 temperature required for a specific task, such as sanitation, is minimized.
     In addition to using modernist systems and technology designed to
 reduce water and energy consumption and waste when the plant is in use,
 every effort was made to address environmental concerns during the
 building's construction. For example, many of the building materials
 contained recycled content, and almost half the materials were sourced
 within 500 miles of the site to support the local economy and reduce the
 amount of fossil fuel consumed during transportation.
     Blazevich continued, "We are breaking new ground by opening the first
 fully temperature-controlled, energy-efficient plant of its kind. The
 freezing and refrigeration processes used for Contessa Green Cuisine
 products ensure the highest quality and freshness and will have consumers
 rethinking what frozen food means to them."
     The Green Cuisine Plant is just one example of Contessa's ongoing
 commitment to the environment and paramount quality. Since its inception,
 the Company has used methods of shrimp production that are considered
 entirely turtle-safe, and Contessa shrimp is farm-raised and harvested
 through a process known as aquaculture - the cultivation of aquatic plants
 and animals - which is an ideal way to augment the world's food supply.
     For more information about Contessa and its new Green Cuisine Plant,
 please visit
     About Contessa Premium Foods, Inc.
     CONTESSA PREMIUM FOODS, Inc. is recognized as a leader in the
 development of innovative, high-quality frozen foods. Often imitated but
 never equaled, Contessa exceeds consumer expectations by combining
 inventiveness, convenience, value and unmatched standards of consistent
 quality in everything it does. Known as "America's Favorite Shrimp(R),"
 Contessa is a leader in premium seafood. Today, its portfolio has grown to
 include additional specialty seafood, Green Cuisine(TM) convenience meals,
 gourmet stir-fry vegetables and more. Contessa imports, processes and
 distributes its products throughout North America, Europe and Asia, and
 markets to retail, club, food- service and private-label channels.
 Dedicated to environmental responsibility from the company's inception,
 Contessa leads the way in "green" business practices, from the way it
 harvests its products to the materials used in its packaging. And, in a
 move that set a new industry standard, Contessa is currently building the
 first-ever LEED-certified frozen-food manufacturing plant in the world, to
 be completed in November of 2007. The facility, its processes, and the
 products manufactured there will be known as "Green Cuisine."
     Contact Information: Neena Kadian/Cheryl Roth
                          OrganicWorks Marketing

SOURCE Contessa Premium Foods