NW Food Processors Association Workshop in Quincy

Posted on Dec 19, 2014

The Northwest Food Processors Association (NWFPA), in partnership with the Washington State Department of Agriculture held a Food Manufacturing Technologies & Sustainability Workshop early this month at Cave B Winery in Quincy. The Port of Quincy, Columbia Colstor and the Grant County EDC sponsored the event which was attended by food processors from across the region.

The workshop included discussions about employee training gaps and the current needs and challenges facing the industry.  Additional sessions focused on sustainability practices and resources available to food processors. They included water efficiency, natural gas efficiency, and NWFPA’s Sustainability Guide & Energy Roadmap, which serve as an energy management guide for food processors.

Gary Ash with National Frozen Foods and Marvin Price with ConAgra Lamb Weston BSW attended the workshop. Gary Ash is serving as president of the board of directors for the Grant County EDC and Marvin Price was president in 2013.

“It is important for the EDC to be present and involved in these kinds of events,” said Ash. “Based on what was learned at the workshop, the EDC is already investigating ways it can assist local companies with challenges related to talent attraction and recruitment.”

Another challenge discussed was waste water permitting and the amount of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in the water. Earlier this year David McGirven, Interim President for NWFPA, participated on a panel at a Grant County EDC luncheon that addressed this topic. Follow up work from that luncheon has been ongoing and on January 28, NWFPA is hosting a Technology Showcase highlighting methods for removing TDS from wastewater.

“It has been great to work so closely with the Northwest Food Processors Association,” said Jonathan Smith, Executive Director for the Grant County EDC. “They have a team of experts that we are able to help connect with the large food processing cluster here in the County so we can proactively work to solve the challenges our companies face.”