US-based mushroom cultivator and supplier South Mill Champs has entered a cross-border partnership with Mexican private investment company Grupo APAL.

The joint venture, named Royal Champs S. de R.L. de C.V., will build and operate composting and mushroom growing operations in multiple sites in Mexico “primarily for import and inclusion in South Mill Champs’ extensive supply chain in the US and Canada”, according to a statement.

Royal Champs plans to “break ground” later this year on an “innovative, Dutch-style, integrated mushroom facility”, which will encompass phase three compost, mushroom growing farms and packing operations on a 257-acre site near Queretaro, Mexico.

Mike Pia Jr., vice president of business growth at South Mill Champs, said: “This expansion reflects a strategic step forward in our commitment to delivering the freshest and highest quality mushrooms daily from coast to coast. The partnership with Grupo APAL will allow us to focus on our expansive expertise of mushroom production and supply chain management.

“The Mexican expansion, in combination with expansions in British Columbia and Pennsylvania in recent years, demonstrates our commitment to modernising and leading innovation in the mushroom industry across North America.”

South Mill Champs has mushroom cultivation and processing operations in British Columbia and Manitoba in Canada, as well as south of the border in Pennsylvania and Maryland. It has distribution facilities across the US located in states including California, Texas and Georgia, as well as at its base in Kennett Square in Pennsylvania.

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It supplies the retail, foodservice and wholesale channels, and also serves mushroom processing customers.

Armando Paredes Arroyo, president of Grupo APAL, added: “We are thrilled to partner with South Mill Champs to expand the mushroom production industry in Mexico. Our expertise in food production and logistics in Mexico combined with SMC’s proven leadership in this industry will ensure the successful execution of this exciting project.”

South Mill Champs acquired World Fresh Produce, a fresh fruit grower and sourcing business in New Jersey last November.