by Lora Abcarian
Western Fumigation, headquartered in Parsippany, NJ, has long been a supporter of the health and vibrancy of the ports of the Delaware River and communities in which business is conducted. “As the largest company in the fumigation business, Western has a sense of commitment and social responsibility,” said Business Development Manager Miriam Borja-Fisher, who is also the company’s marketing expert. “Supporting the Delaware River community has been a consistent part of Western’s business philosophy since its inception. Being deeply involved in the ports gives us the opportunity to learn how to serve our clients in more meaningful ways.”
The company was established in 1928 and has been performing U.S. Department of Agriculture quarantine treatments since 1978. That track record accounts for Western’s deep integration into all the major port organizations in the tri-state area and has created a culture of giving back.
In addition to the Delaware River, Western has worked at a host of ports, including Tampa and Jacksonville, FL; Wilmington, NC; Baltimore; and ports in New York, Virginia and North Jersey. “With the network of transportation, warehousing, cold storage, the collective expertise and knowledge, and proximity to the largest U.S. market, this hub has everything to offer to potential port users,” said Division Manager Michael O’Connor.
The company’s corporate culture includes a breadth of activities: technical innovations that keep cargo moving; serving on important boards and committees; membership, support and participation in all the tri-state organizations that keep the port viable and growing as a community; and serving as an advocate for regulatory issues that affect its clients.
In spite of the competitive nature of the business, “the ports of the Delaware River have a great sense of community — the numerous trade organizations and port associations operating here,” added Barbara Hunter, an industry veteran who serves as a Western consultant. “This is unique”
On the technical front, Compliance Officer Kurt Reichert serves on three key committees affecting port security, operations and worker safety. On the community side, Western supports key charities in the port community including the Seamen’s Church Institute of Philadelphia & South Jersey; Seamen’s Center of Wilmington; the Chapel of Four Chaplains; Autism Speaks; and Sueños En Red, a Chile-based educational program. Additionally, Western holds a seat on each of the boards of the World Trade Association, Ship Philly First, Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River & Bay, and the Chilean and American Chamber of Commerce.
The company has been recognized for its significant contributions. Awards it has received include the Friend of Chile Award, Spirit of the Port Award, Outstanding Achievement Award, Cocoa Award by the ports of Philadelphia and Camden, Award of Recognition for contribution to the development of the fresh produce industry by the Chilean Exporters Association, Chapel of Four Chaplains Legion of Honor Award and Seafarers’ Friend Award.