- Talma Gotteiner
Marina: A 30 Year Anniversary of the Largest Mushroom Grower in Israel
Updated: Nov 25, 2019
Marina, the largest Mushroom grower from the Moshav Hosen in the Western Galilee, invited a number of writers to share their 30th Anniversary in an exposure event. It was a celebration of a family founded company that after 3 decades of hard work became an Israeli brand, a true Galilean breakthrough in the field of fresh agricultural produce and a leader in production, development and marketing of mushrooms, vegetables and fruit. Remo Ben Shushan, founder and CEO extends his welcome to you.
Remo Ben-Shoshan, began by leading us on a fascinating tour of the company facilities. The complex mushroom growing stages start with preparation of a unique "compost" substrate on which the spores grow. The mushrooms are then grown in sterile conditions and are monitored throughout. We were shown how mushrooms are harvested and packaged before distributing them to points of sale across the country.
After the tour, we heard a bit about the history of the company and feasted on mushrooms galore. "Marina" announced the establishment of a "Marina Gourmet" food division that will enter the field of finished food products for the vegan and vegetarian markets. The new products are a perfect substitute for meat, based on fresh and healthy mushrooms and include: mushroom burgers, stuffed mushrooms and portobella steak.
It all began in the early 1980s. Remo Ben Shushan, the founder, began distributing fresh mushrooms from local growers in Moshav Hosen and Moshav Maona. As soon as he recognized the potential in the field, Remo set up a makeshift warehouse in the backyard of his farm and together with his wife Miri and a small number of workers, to grow, pack and distribute fresh mushrooms daily to the northern region, slowly expanding the activities to the wholesale markets in the north and center, small markets, restaurants and event halls. One of his initial achievements was capturing a share of the canned mushroom market and replacing it with the real thing, fresh mushrooms, a trend that required market education and took place in parallel around the world.
In the early 1990s, the company slowly expanded to national distribution. Daily supply began to run smoothly to the wholesale markets in all the major cities, the marketing chains of Shufersal and the Blue Square Co-op and to the private market.
The early 2000s, were characterized by an acceleration of the retail market, in which the marketing chains themselves rapidly opened many branches outside cities in the HEAVY DISCOUNT format. "Marina", who was committed to meet the challenge of ensuring orderly distribution of chilled produce to the evergrowing retain market, established between 2004-2009 a supportive logistics system, advanced growing farms and a distribution system of about 20 daily distribution lines using the "van sell" method.
Over the years, the developing company has made sure to invest in appropriate infrastructure in the field of mushroom growing, and has received help from the best manufacturers of equipment and know-how in the world and especially from the Netherlands. Today, the company's trucks deliver daily produce to over 1800 points of sale, and the company's call center works systematically to improve the shopping and service experience.
Today Marina is the largest company in Israel for growing and marketing fresh produce, vegetables and fruits, specializing in refrigerated distribution to the best hotels cafes and restaurants, leading event halls, and of course to all marketing chain branches. The company has mushroom growing farms, facilities for producing a mushroom breeding platform and over 1500 dunams of various leafy vegetable crops in both the regular kosher certificate level and the Kosher Mehadrin certificate, without insects and worms, under the supervision of Rabbi Efrati and the Jerusalem Rabbinate.
The new "Marina Gourmet" flagship series is expected to reach the supermarkets shortly and the Israeli public will receive an ultimate meat substitute, high in vitamins and low in calories. The Marina Company sees tremendous importance in providing fresh produce to every citizen in the country and is constantly working on unique packaging methods to enable their products to remain fresh and retain their nutritional value.
Marina employs around 700 people around the country today, who for Remo Ben Shushan Company founder and CEO, are all part of the Marina family. Two of his children have also joined the company and are taking part in keeping it move forward.
In Remo's parting words he stated how proud he was to lead a successful company, first and foremost of excellent people, working together for 30 years through difficulties and successes and how proud he was of the great achievements that they made over the years.
Happy Anniversary Marina! Keep up the good work!
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