Recruiting Food Companies

Recruiting Food Companies

Recruiting Food Companies. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.

Economic development officials will try to convince at least a few California companies to relocate or expand their food processing operations into Oregon. Jerry Gardner of the Oregon Department of Agriculture is part of the effort.

GARDNER: This is a statewide level of interest in what's going on in agriculture. Of course, a lot of our rural communities depend on agriculture in various ways. Adding more food processing capacity to these rural communities would be a great thing for our economic development.

ODA and its sister agency Business Oregon are encouraged by a recent survey of statewide economic development officials who responded to a question of what industry sectors they were most interested in when it comes to recruiting

GARDNER: Agriculture and value-added food processing got more votes than really any other sector. So there are a lot of people out there in Oregon that are concerned about economic development that are focusing in on how we expand our food processing capacity.

Representatives of several local communities are expected to join state officials early next year as they participate in two popular food shows that draw in numerous California companies. Hopefully, the sales pitch will be enough to have a few food processors come to Oregon for a look and perhaps a new home. Gardner says Oregon offers many advantages for food companies, especially its tremendous diversity and availability of local crops.

GARDNER: We can take the products that are produced in these areas, add value to them, and have a viable business. So I think people start thinking about agriculture first, particularly in the rural communities.
Gardner is optimistic that some California food companies will be interested in relocating or expanding into Oregon, but he knows it doesn't happen overnight.

GARDNER: We would hope we could have some folks who wanted to come and visit Oregon. We would show them around, they would look at different sites. It does take a while to complete some of these transactions, but you have to start somewhere.

That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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