Potato wash plant, packing facility near Alberton grows substantially from 25,00 to 38,000 square feet
ELMSDALE - Over the past 27 years staff at W.P. Griffin Inc. have grown pretty accustomed to change, company president and general manager, John Griffin said Thursday.
He made that acknowledgement following the official opening of its expanded potato packing plant.
With the expansion, completed in early December and now fully operational, the potato wash plant and packing facility in Elmsdale, near Alberton, has grown substantially in size to 38,000 square feet from 25,000.
It allows for a pallet box cold storage area at the back where the company can store specialty potatoes until they have the volumes to fill orders, and a 7,000 square-foot shipping and receiving area up front allowing for packaged product to be efficiently stored while awaiting shipment.
The expansion has allowed for new efficiencies, such as reducing downtime by filling larger runs prior to shifting over to other product lines.
"Change is constant. There's always going to be small changes, not necessarily big changes," company vice-president and operations manager Peter Griffin said, reflected on a series of advancements at the operation since 1988.
But the big changes might be over for a while.
"I think, right now, we have a good modern facility that's going to serve our purposes well for the next 20 years," said the company president as he watched groups of invited guests fan out on tours of the facility.
The latest expansion, he said, "brings the facility into the 21st century and gives our business a clear road forward."
The operation averages around 35 staff year-round, growing to around 50 at peak periods.
Greg Donald, general manager of the P.E.I. Potato Board, recognized the Griffin brothers and business owners as leaders, innovators, good stewards of their land and as strong members of their community and the potato industry.
"This expansion is net another accomplishment and milestone among many over the last 60 years for WP Griffin," he said.