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COVID-19 Advisory: WSU Extension is working to keep our communities safe. All Extension programming is being provided virtually, postponed, or canceled. Effective March 16, 2020, WSU Extension county offices and WSU Research & Extension Centers will be closed to the public. We are available via email, phone, and webconference.

Value-Added Fruit-Vegetable Production

Overview

Regional South Puget Sound needs assessments identified food system infrastructure gaps, including for dry, refrigerated and frozen storage, food processing facilities, grain handling and storage, and  aggregation, distribution for collective marketing. Among other problems, lack of farm infrastructure in the region is dampening market opportunities, and likely contributing to long-term loss of farmland. Since 1950, farmland has dropped from 170,640 to 76,000 acres in Thurston County, and from 304,253 to 132,839 in Lewis County. This project is exploring the potential of a vegetable processing facility to expand market access for crop producers in the region. Thanks to Port of Olympia for 2018-2020 funding for this project.

South Sound Food Processing Facility Feasibility Study Final Report – Exploring Community Processing Capacity
  • Read the final report 2018-2019 including market assessment data, interview tools, basic facility designs, enterprise budget results, and case study summaries.
Ag Processing Infrastructure Case Studies:
Value-Add Food Processing Facility Market Analysis
  • Draft 2018-19 Final Report: Feasibility of a Value-Added Processing Facility for Minimally Processed Vegetables and Fruit in South Puget Sound.  Final Report_20.1.27
  • Presentation at 2018 Tilth Conference of preliminary results of the 2018 value-added processing facility market analysis. Three markets were surveyed: customers at the Olympia Farmers Market, Institutional Buyers in south Puget Sound including hospital, school district, correctional facility and state cafeteria food service directors, and Community Support Agriculture (vegetable box subscription) customers at three Thurston County farms. Tilth Value-Add Processing_Final
  • Draft 2018 Annual Report: Market Assessment for Value-added Fruit and Vegetable Products for CSA box-subscription programs, sale at farmers’ markets, and sales to institutional buyers:
  • Facility design and planning will occur in 2018 – do you have ideas for equipment funding or skills with processing kitchen finances? Call us! 360-790-9308!
Rapid Market Assessment at the Olympia Farmers Market

  • “How important is it to YOU that locally processed products use local farm products?” This question and six others were answered by over 500 market shoppers on August 11th, 2018. The goal of this market assessment was to evaluate customer interest in value-added fruit and vegetables products. Results from this work will help determine the feasibility of developing a value-added food processing facility in south Puget Sound. Here are initial results presented to the South Sound Food System Network in September 2018: FoodProc FacilityUpdate SSFSN 18-09-04.
Resources
  • Read on here for an informal thought piece on the potential of a food processing facility: Could food system infrastructure like a food processing facility help reverse farmland loss? Thurston farmland & vegetable processing