Morning Star
Morning Star
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Company History

Located in both northern and southern California, the world's most prolific tomato growing region, The Morning Star Company is not just another manufacturer of bulk tomato products. Our commitment to our customers is to provide their specified product quality - with excellent service - at prices that help them compete effectively. We take an active role in making the lives of our customers better through cost effectiveness, excellent service and superior customer support. The list below explores some of the things that make us special for our customers.

Full Line of Bulk Products

We offer a full line of tomato ingredients in 55-gallon drums and 300-gallon bins. Our operation is sophisticated enough to meet the exacting performance standards of customers looking for paste that's not just a commodity. We also have a tube-in-tube line which makes diced, purees, ketchup and crushed products. The flexibility of our operations is unsurpassed in the industry. Our ability to meet specifications of even the most unusual products allows us to better serve all customers.

Excellent Customer Services

On staff we have engineers and technicians who can analyze your process and recommend ways our product will work best within it. Shipping and customer service people to meet your needs solve your problems. Morning Star only selects the finest people to fill its positions to assure exceptional service. People can think on their feet and solve problems quickly.

Cost Effectiveness

We use innovation thought to bring together the best technologies to make our manufacturing processes as reliable and streamlined as possible. Our factories are large to spread the overhead costs over the volume of paste.

Single Product Line

In order to ensure consistency in the batches of products we produce, we use only one line for our products.

Field to Factory Freshness and Efficiency

Morning Star began as a trucking company in 1970, and we still haul all our own tomatoes. To improve the efficiency of the logistics of bringing tomatoes from the field, we harvest and haul them. This allows us to not only bring in the freshest tomatoes but also lower the cost of having them delivered. We use bigger trailers so we have fewer trucks.

A little history...

The Morning Star Company was founded in 1970 by Chris Rufer as a one truck owner operator, hauling tomatoes to other canneries. Today, Morning Star accounts for over 25% of the California processing tomato production, supplying 40% of the U.S. ingredient tomato paste and diced tomato markets, with industrial sales of approximately $350 million.

In 1982, Chris founded a tomato paste processing plant with three grower investors, and originated and implemented two important innovations in the tomato industry; namely, (1) the dedicated production and marketing of industrial tomato paste and (2) the marketing of tomato paste in the "300 gallon bag-in-box." As tomato paste requirements grew The Morning Star Packing Company-Los Banos was founded and built in 1990. Through innovative thinking, common sense, and experience we improved the quality and lowered our cost of producing tomato paste. This facility processes approximately 530 tons of tomatoes (180,000 pounds of tomato paste) per hour.

In 1995, The Morning Star Packing Company-Williams was built. The Williams facility combines state of the art technology with economies of scale. This facility processes approximately 630 tons of tomatoes (200,000 pounds of tomato paste) per hour, making it the largest tomato processing facility in California. We also established the California Sun Harvesting Company (Cal-Sun) in a partnership with prominent tomato growers primarily to reduce the cost of tomato harvesting and create efficiencies in the harvesting, trucking and the processing of tomatoes.

In 2002, Morning Star founded Liberty Packing Company, Santa Nella. The original plant was built in 1975, but completely revamped in 2002. Liberty Packing does all the diced processing for Morning Star which has been doing bulk diced products since 1993.

At all Morning Star facilities, we emphasize innovative thought, and we strive to use available resources and technology to their fullest potential in order to continuously improve quality, productivity and service for our customer. As important as quality, service and price are, we know there is more. To remain competitive for the long term, we must be innovative. That is why we rigorously maintain our position as the major force developing and implementing new and improved technology in our industry.