Event in Forest Grove marks recognition of Global Food Safety Initiative Certification.
Event in Forest Grove marks recognition of Global Food Safety Initiative Certification
FOREST GROVE — Chaucer Foods, Chaucer Foods Inc., in coordination with the City of Forest Grove announced a formal opening event to be held on Wednesday, April 29th. The event celebrates both the achievement of the Global Food Safety Initiative Certification and operations of the new Forest Grove plant at 2238 Yew Street.
“We enthusiastically welcome Chaucer Foods to Forest Grove,” remarked Mayor Peter Truax, “and are very pleased that Chaucer continues the close connection between Forest Grove and the agriculture industry.” He further stated, “We are happy to have played a role in bringing Chaucer to Oregon and it is an example of the good work done through our enterprise zone and conservation and financing programs.”
Chaucer, a global producer of specialist food ingredients and products, is pleased to announce the opening of its brand new, purpose built US Freeze Dry factory in Oregon. This is the third manufacturing platform for the Company, and further strengthens Chaucer’s position as the market leader on the global freeze dried fruit and vegetable manufacturing platform. Chaucer recently completely a $14 million investment in the 84,600 square foot Forest Grove facility. The company has created 73 new jobs.
Andy Ducker, President of Chaucer Foods, said “We are delighted to announce the opening of our new US facility, a milestone achievement for the Company, which underpins our positioning as one of the global leaders on the freeze dry stage. We work at the very forefront of the freeze dried and specialist food ingredient global markets and are very excited about our new phase of development”.” Ducker continued. "We look forward to growing our business in Oregon, which we would not be able to do without access to the affordable financing and business assistance provided through the federal and Oregon NMTC programs, City of Forest Grove Enterprise Zone and energy conservation financing programs and State Business Oregon SRF funding." Ducker continued, "These programs enabled our expansion by filling a critical gap in the project's financing and encouraged us to grow here in Oregon “
Chaucer has 35 years of manufacturing experience and chose Forest Grove, Oregon, for the location of its new freeze-dried food processing facility because of the maritime climate. The company grows some of its own raw materials and imports the rest from its international growing locations. Therefore, the new facility had to be in a location convenient for shipping and receiving product. The new facility’s operations will focus on the production of freeze drying of fruit and vegetables, from whole fruits and vegetables through to slices, dice and powdered formats.
Collaboration of efforts between Business Oregon, Henningsen Cold Storage, City of Forest Grove and others led to the successful recruitment. Business Oregon was instrumental in securing Chaucer’s interest in Oregon and providing funding through the Oregon New Market Tax Credit Program, and the Strategic Reserve Fund.
The City of Forest Grove has a long legacy of agriculture and food processing. Chaucer joins such Forest Grove companies such as New Season Foods, Old Trapper, Sisters Fruit Company, Henningsen Cold Storage and Lieb Foods. Expansion of the food processing and beverage industry sector continues to be a key element of the City’s economic development strategic plan. “Chaucer is a terrific addition to our city, bringing needed jobs, new investment and a community-oriented philosophy” said Jeff King, the City’s Economic Development Manager. With our lower business operating costs, a ready and skilled workforce and room to grow, we expect Chaucer to enjoy long and successful operations at this location” he added.
Chaucer has an unparalleled record for product development and innovation. The new facility will allow for batch flexibility and, therefore, a broader level of capability than its current International facilities. Additionally, the facility will include new technology reducing the time to freeze-dry fruit.
"To help finance the facility, Chaucer took advantage of the New Markets Tax Credits ("NMTCs") program to fill a critical gap in the financing that was required to renovate and purchase equipment for the company's first U.S.-based production facility and to create jobs.
Congress created the NMTC program in 2000 to encourage job creation and private sector capital investment in economically distressed communities. Congress has reauthorized the NMTC program multiple times since its enactment; however, year-over-year demand for NMTC allocation has continuously exceeded supply. President Obama signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 that extended the program for 2012 and 2013. To attract NMTC investments to this state, the Oregon Legislature passed the Low Income Community Jobs Initiative in 2011 that created a matching tax credit to the NMTC to promote more investment in Oregon. Oregon is now one of 13 states with a state NMTC program.
Further expansion of the facility is planned in the mid-term to take advantage of the growing market place.