Thursday, March 19, 2009

Memo fron Northwest Food Processors Association President: SUPPORT LOCAL FOOD PROCESSORS and INCREASE JOBS IN OREGON

March 18, 2009
Re: Video Highlights Importance of Oregon Food Processors to State Economy – Only Manufacturing Sector to Create Jobs in 2008
In the midst of a global downturn financial analysts have called the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, Oregon’s food processing industry was the one bright spot in WorkSource Oregon’s gloomy 2008 Job Report.
In 2008, food manufacturing added 1,800 jobs statewide, a 7.9 percent increase – at a time when the manufacturing sector as a whole showed an 8.3 percent decline. Oregon wood product manufacturing lost 4,700 jobs in 2008, semiconductor and electronic component manufacturing lost 2,400 jobs and transportation equipment manufacturing lost 4,100 jobs, according to WorkSource Oregon’s year-end report. The state as a whole shed more than 58,000 non-farm jobs in 2008, a 3.4 percent decrease.
Food processing was the only manufacturing sector in Oregon to show positive employment gain in 2008, the Oregon Employment Department reported.
What factors are responsible for the food processing industry’s strong showing? In part, it’s because during challenging economic times, consumers tend to focus spending on basic goods and services. But the state can also thank a forward-thinking Legislature, which, in 2006, provided funding for Northwest Food Processors Innovation Productivity Center (IPC), a collaborative effort to increase competitiveness and innovation for Oregon’s food processing industry.
A new video highlights the crucial importance of the food processing industry to Oregon’s economy, as well as IPC’s innovation efforts: “Everybody Must Eat: Sustaining Oregon’s Food Processing Industry.” To view the video, go to, or email NWFPA at
With $3.4 billion in annual revenues, 18,000 workers, a $542 million annual payroll and a heritage that spans more than 150 years, food processing is Oregon’s third-largest industry, trailing only high-tech and forest products in its statewide economic impact.
Organized in 1914, Northwest Food Processors Association (NWFPA) serves as an advocate for members’ interests and a resource for enhancing their competitive capabilities. NWFPA provides services to over 450 member companies. IPC is a non-profit funded by the Oregon Legislature to help shape the future of the food industry by: enhancing organizational productivity, enabling innovation, training industry leaders of today and tomorrow, and helping companies use all of the best available resources. IPC is part of the Oregon Innovation Plan and is a subsidiary organization of the NWFPA.

David Zepponi, PresidentNorthwest Food Processors Association
8338 NE Alderwood Road, Suite 160Portland, OR 97220
503/327-2200 Main • 503/327-2208 Direct503/572-6531 Cell

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