Washington State Agriculture & Food Manufacturing

Page 1



Washington State Department of Commerce

THE NATURAL CHOICE FOR NATURAL PRODUCTS With its diverse climate, low-cost energy, abundant water supply and proximity to major international markets, Washington State is a natural choice for companies manufacturing and selling natural, organic, healthy or high-value products.

INDUSTRY OVERVIEW More than 300 crops are grown in Washington, thanks to the state’s varied geography and unique microclimates, from the irrigated, rolling plains of Central and Eastern Washington to the fertile hillsides and valleys to the north, south and west. Summer growing seasons are long, providing 16 hours of sunshine with little to no rain. While Seattle has a reputation for being rainy, actual rainfall in the state varies widely, from as low as 7 to 9 inches where the Snake and Columbia Rivers meet in Eastern Washington to 75 to 90 inches in the Cascade Mountain range, providing you with plenty of choices if your business is weather dependent. Agriculture and food manufacturing is a $20.1 billion industry in Washington State, employing an estimated 164,000 workers. As a food processor/manufacturer, you’ll find plenty of company in Washington. The state is home to hundreds of nutraceutical, food, beverage, health and beauty aid, organic and vitamin and supplement companies, including such well-known names as India Tree, Jones Soda, Liberty Orchards, Natural Factors, Oberto, Theo Chocolate, Tree Top and Wilcox Farms. For those manufacturers with significant power needs, 73% of Washington’s energy comes from its network of hydroelectric dams, offering a clean, renewable grid that has the lowest cost per kilowatt hour in the United States.

CENTRALIZED EXPORT HUB Equidistant between key markets in Asia and Europe, Washington State connects exporters to the world via land, sea and air. The state is home to the 4th largest container shipping center in North America, the Northwest Seaport Alliance, which provides access to the Pacific Ocean. The area’s transportation network includes 139 airports, 75 ports, including 11 deep-water ports, a waterway system that extends 352 miles inland, and strong relationships with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and Union Pacific, giving you access to 3,666 miles of track that connects you to every major market in North, Central and South America.

A WORLD LEADER Washington State is the leading producer of red raspberries, hops, apples, sweet cherries, pears, concord grapes and spearmint and peppermint oils, which are shipped around the globe to customers who appreciate their legendary quality, flavor and value. Fast facts: • • • • •

#1 producer of red raspberries, hops, apples, sweet cherries, pears and concord grapes #2 in seafood production #2 in premium wine production, with 900 wineries 77% of all hops produced in the U.S. are Washington grown 35,900 farms cover 15 million acres of farmland

A HAVEN FOR FOODIES Washington’s reputation for quality, innovative food products goes back a century or more. Washington is the birthplace of such legendary brands as Starbucks, Carnation, Darigold, Roman Meal, Trident Seafoods, Cinnabons and Almond Roca. Relative newcomers such as Theo Chocolate, Talking Rain and North Pacific Seafoods continue to reshape the industry. Residents are well-known for their interest in adopting a healthy lifestyle and farm-to-table consumerism creates the ideal testing ground for new products in the nearly 100+ farmer’s markets that dot the state.

A TEAM OF BUSINESS EXPERTS TO SUPPORT YOU To help you maximize the potential of your agricultural and food manufacturing business strategies, we have a team of experts on hand to guide you in locating facilities in one of our 39 counties, working your way through permitting, securing a skilled workforce, training new and existing workers, expanding your reach to new markets, performing research and making introductions with local, regional and statewide businesses who may be interested in partnering with you.

CONTACT US. If you’re interested in learning more about value-added agriculture and food manufacturing opportunities in Washington State, contact us at (206) 256-6100 or email us at moreinfo@choosewashingtonstate.com. Learn more about Washington State at: www.choosewashingtonstate.com.