Ethylene Control Celebrates 30 Years

When Dave Biswell started his own business 30 years ago, he was working out of his spare bedroom, garage and storing his product in a friend’s pole barn.

Biswell was selling commercial trucks to farming companies when he met a man distributing ethylene-blocking packets to California kiwifruit packers in the early 1980s.

“I saw the potential then and started making contacts,” Biswell said.

Biswell started small, buying and reselling ethylene-blocking products to his truck customers for three years. That changed when his boss gave him an ultimatum — Biswell had to choose between his full-time sales job and his part-time business.

“It was the best thing that ever happened,” he said. “Instead of spending 18 hours a day working two jobs, I focused on building my Ethylene Control business.”

Biswell started contracting with a manufacturer to make sachets for him in 1989. In 1994, he bought a piece of property in Selma, CA. and built his own plant to start making his own sachets.

His line of products has grown much larger than the little packets he first saw in kiwifruit boxes. Ethylene Control manufactures and sells sachets, filtration systems and filters.

Biswell’s first Ethylene Control filtration machine was a crude, 55-gallon drum filled with the company’s patented Super Fresh filter media, which lowers ethylene levels in storage areas. Biswell made holes in the drum and attached a screen. He then mounted a motor and blower on the drum and put it on a dolly.

The company’s current, more sophisticated machines sell for $1,895.00 The Company’s Web site says the EC-3+ system will reduce ethylene levels up to 98.9% in cold storage areas up to 150,000 cubic feet.

Today, Selma, Calif.-based Ethylene Control Inc., has nine employees, a 9,000-square-foot facility and worldwide sales in the produce and floral industry. All Ethylene Control Inc. products are made in Selma, CA.

“It just started happening,” he said of rapid growth. “We discovered the benefits for stone fruit around 1990 while working with Dr. Gordon Mitchell at U. C. Davis. Then it expanded to other fruits, vegetables and floral products over the last 30 years.”

Now Biswell is trying to expand his customer base. Already in cold storages, packinghouses and retail distribution centers around the world, Ethylene Control is busy developing distributors worldwide in produce and floral producing areas.

“Every year we are finding new commodities that our Super Fresh Filter Media help our customers extend shelf life and retain quality, whether it is sachets, filters or our filtration systems.”

Biswell said “I was honored to receive the California Grape & Tree Fruit League Supplier of the Year award in 2014.” He has been a member of the league for 25 years and was chairman of the suppliers committee in 1997. The same year his brother Steve Biswell was chairman of the growers.

Biswell said “I am blessed to have such a wonderful staff and most of them have been with me for a very long time, most for over 15 years. We are all looking forward to another 30 years.”  |

Source: Ethylene Control