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
-- An innovative loading dock that prevents the loss of refrigerated air,
reducing temperature fluctuation - and energy use - in the loading
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 www.contessa.com.
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
SOURCE Contessa Premium Foods