Amazing Opportunities for Food and Beverage Companies – Because We are Here, There and Everywhere

Here

While Washington is famous for apples, premium wines, and sweet onions, specialty and organic foods share the spotlight.  Companies in the Tri-Cities have unparalled access to local, sustainable, free-range, grass-fed, organic, and other alternative inputs.  Over 70% of the State’s organic production comes from farms within 100 miles of the Tri-Cities; a $309 million contribution to a $436 million industry.  Small-scale growers and processors in the Tri-Cities have an enormous opportunity to serve Washington and the region.

There

Food and beverage companies in the Tri-Cities send products across the U.S.  Companies like Railex manage expedited coast-to-coast refrigerated rail freight service.  Trucking companies and airlines deliver produce, beverages, frozen foods, and dairy products throughout the nation.

Everywhere

The Tri-Cities, a major international trade center, supplies the world with unique food products.  More than $15 billion in food and agriculture goods exported through Washington ports reach over 100 countries on all seven continents.

As disposable incomes increase in emerging and developing economies, consumers expect great variety and high quality in imported foods.  The BRIC and ASEAN countries, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, and South America represent huge markets for specialty foods and beverages.  The Tri-Cities and the Columbia Basin are strategically located to serve those international locations.

See why the Tri-Cities is Fresher, Faster, and Bolder!

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Washington Agriculture Economic Facts

  • 37,249 farms are located in Washington State.
  • Washington State grows over 300 commodities.
  • Agriculture represents 12% of Washington’s economy.
  • Agriculture and food processing industry employees 160,000 people.
  • $15.1 billion in food and agriculture products are exported through Washington ports—the third largest total in the U.S.
  • Washington State has a $17.05 billion food processing industry.

Tri-Cities, Washington – The ideal location for food and beverage manufacturing facilities

The Tri-Cities anchor the region’s economy in agribusiness, food processing, specialized services, production technology, government, and healthcare. Successful Agribusinesses include ConAgra Foods, AgriNorthwest, Broetje Orchards, Tyson Foods, Reser’s, Columbia Crest Winery and many others.

The Tri-Cities MSA is especially attractive to successful, expanding companies looking to locate branch operations and develop new facilities. Since the Tri-Cities is the regional capitol for variety, freshness and quality in agriculture commodity and specialty crops/value-added processing, existing companies thrive here, and newcomers will benefit and prosper in the robust business environment.

Excellent Transportation

The Tri-Cities is a transportation center providing unmatched access to interstate highways, service by two national mainline railroads, commercial barge transportation, and air service from four domestic airlines. The state’s deep-water ports and proximity to important Asian markets are important advantages for agricultural trade.

Highway Access

The Tri-Cities is centrally located and linked to the major population centers of the Pacific Northwest, Northern California and Western Canada.

Destination

Mileage from
Tri-Cities, WA

Travel Time*

Spokane, WA

136 Miles

2 Hours, 15 Minutes

Portland, OR

218 Miles

3 Hours, 40 Minutes

Seattle, WA

225 Miles

3 Hours, 45 Minutes

Boise, ID

293 Miles

4 Hours, 50 Minutes

Vancouver, BC

356 Miles

5 Hours, 50 Minutes

Calgary, AB

567 Miles

9 Hours, 25 Minutes

Salt Lake City, UT

627 Miles

10 Hours, 30 Minutes

Sacramento, CA

677 Miles

11 Hours, 20 Minutes

Billings, MT

678 Miles

11 Hours, 20 Minutes

San Francisco, CA

740 Miles

12 Hours, 20 Minutes

Los Angeles, CA

1,070 Miles

17 Hours, 50 Minutes

Minneapolis, MN

1,515 Miles

25 Hours, 15 Minutes

Semi-Trucks Traveling at 60mph

Rail Service

The economy of the Tri-Cities is supported by a strong rail infrastructure providing businesses, ports and farms with competitive access to North American and international markets.  Mainline rail freight service is provided by both the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) and Union Pacific (UP) Railroads. Direct access and dual service from these Class I national carriers is very unique.

Air Transportation

The Tri-Cities Airport, owned and operated by the Port of Pasco, ranks fourth in passenger boarding among Washington airports.  It is served by Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air, Allegiant Air, Delta Connection/SkyWest, and United Express/SkyWest.  Direct daily flights serve San Francisco, CA; Denver, CO; Minneapolis, MN; Portland, OR; Salt Lake City, UT; and Seattle, WA.  Less than daily service is available to Mesa/Phoenix, AZ; Los Angeles, CA; and Las Vegas, NV.

For more flight information visit www.FlyTriCities.com

National Production Ranking of Washington Products

Agriculture thrives on the rich soils, diverse microclimates and large-scale irrigation systems in the region.  Processors are surrounded by one of the most productive growing regions in the world, choosing from some 300 crops each year.  Locally available raw materials mean a trustworthy supply, lower costs, and fresher materials.

Workforce

The Tri-Cities area has over 175 food and beverage manufacturers, ranging from ConAgra and Tyson Foods with 1,000+ employees each, to family-run wineries and microbreweries. Recent additions and expansions by many of these firms illustrate the attractiveness and effectiveness of a Tri-Cities location for food and agricultural processing.

SIC Code

Occupation Title

Employment

Mean Hourly Wage

Annual Mean Wage

45-2041

Graders and Sorters, Agricultural Products

710

$13.69

$28,480

51-9061

Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samples and Weighers

230

$17.70

$36,810

49-9041

Industrial Machinery Mechanics

380

$22.87

$47,560

51-1011

First-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers

360

$34.98

$72,770

53-7062

Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand

1,860

$13.97

$29,050

53-7064

Packers and Packagers, Hand

870

$11.88

$24,710

51-9111

Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and Tenders

790

$14.83

$30,860

“Lamb Weston values the significant benefits of doing business int he Tri-Cities, and has done so for nearly 40 years.  Prime growing conditions, irrigated agriculture, access to international ports, and a knowledgeable workforce are just a few of the reasons the Tri-Cities is uniquely suited for growing and producing our quality potato and frozen vegetable products.”

Rick Martin

VP Global Operations, ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston

Fresher, Faster, Bolder Tri-Cities!

The food and beverage manufacturing sector benefits from the unique business advantages and other conditions found in the Tri-Cities, including:

Selected business costs over 24% below typical or national average costs.

Projected costs for personnel, land, construction, energy, utilities, and certain other expenses of operating a food processing plant in the Tri-Cities compare favorably to the US and West Coast.

A very competitive cost of living.

The Tri-Cities is one of two metropolitan areas in Washington and Oregon with a cost of living index below the national average.  A study of business taxes imposed by selected states and communities across the U.S. show a Washington location to rank eleventh least expensive.

Outstanding infrastructure for food and agricultural industrial activities.

Both private and publicly-owned industrial parks are designed to support agricultural processing.  Some are pre-permitted and have specialized wastewater treatment and disposal systems.  Technical support is available from Washington State University, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, commodity groups and industry associations.

Excellent schools and colleges.

Washington State University, a global leader in food and agriculture R&D, has numerous programs to assist processors in the state.  Columbia Basin College is known for their agriculture, horticulture, and food system programs.

A quality of life that supports transfer and recruitment of employees from other locations.

The Tri-Cities is a remarkably sophisticated smaller metro area.  The citizens of Benton County are among the best educated in the nation, with over 41% of its adult population holding bachelor’s or graduate degrees.

A highly appealing natural setting.

The Tri-Cities enjoys about 300 sunny days per year.  Snow run-off feeds the Columbia, Snake and Yakima rivers. The local terrain ranges from about 400 feet above sea level in the river valleys to nearly 4,000 feet atop local mountains.

Grow Your Business in the Tri-Cities

If you are considering relocating or expanding your business, let TRIDEC help you put together the information you need.

  • Create a personalized overview of the region.
  • Provide data on key business factors.
  • Evaluate the available workforce and connect you to resources that will make hiring, interviewing, screening, and training your new workforce easier.
  • Initiate real estate searches.
  • Assist in evaluating incentives.
  • Coordinate site selection trips and customized visits.
  • Organize strategic meetings to make your visit a one-stop collaborative effort with key business leaders, government and community officials.
“The combination of a long growing season, high-quality water for irrigation, relatively low utility rates, and a great work force make the Tri-Cities area one of the best places on earth to farm.  The Tri-Cities isa  family-friendly place with good schools, temperature weather, and lots of terrific neighbors.  Our employees love living here!”

Don Sleight

AgriNorthwest

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