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Autumn Assembly Sept. 30 - Oct. 1 2014

  • Uncategorised
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  • News
    Select a news topic from the list below, then select a news article to read.
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    2
    • Latest

      The latest news from NWFPA members and events concerning the food processing industry in the Northwest.

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      168
    • Newsflash
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      1
  • About NWFPA

    About NWFPA

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    Advocacy & Issues

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    Association Membership

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    • Food Safety & Science

      Issues related to Food Safety & Science

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      • Acrylamides

        Acrylamide (or acrylic amide) is a chemical compound with the chemical formula C3H5NO. Its IUPAC name is prop-2-enamide. It is a white odourless crystalline solid, soluble in water, ethanol, ether, and chloroform. Acrylamide is incompatible with acids, bases, oxidizing agents, iron, and iron salts. It decomposes non-thermally to form ammonia, and thermal decomposition produces carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and oxides of nitrogen.

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      • HACCP

        HACCP

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        2
      • Perchlorate

        Perchlorate

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        3
      • Listeria Monocytogenes

        Listeria Monocytogenes

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        16
      • Salmonella

        Salmonella

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        10
      • Obesity Prevention

        Obesity Prevention

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        3
      • Food Safety & Science
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        33
      • Sodium Reduction
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        5
      • E. coli
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        8
    • Food Legislation & Regulatory

      Food Legislation & Regulatory

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    • Food Defense

      Food Defense

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    • Energy Program
      test
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      • Poultry Council
        Poultry Council
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        • Food Safety News
          Food Safety News Publication
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          NW Reports
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          News Rotator Articles
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            • Guide
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            • Micro Case Studies
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              • Social Sustainability

                Social Sustainability is the positive effect that a company has on society through community investment. This includes providing safe and nutritious food, safe jobs, and community development.”

                —Northwest Food Processors Sustainability Guide

                 

                In the Northwest, the food processing industry is one of the most influential industrial sectors on the economic development of surrounding communities, and especially so in rural areas. Key economic activities include the farming, harvesting, processing, and distribution of agricultural and natural resource products. These activities provide direct and indirect employment as well as opportunities for people to engage in community services. Employees serve as volunteer firefighters, Little League coaches, teacher assistants, choir members, and scout leaders. A company that understands its ties to a community promotes a vibrant workforce when it provides employees opportunities to give back to the community. This relationship among the company, its employees, and the community instills trust, pride, and loyalty. Bright futures for a company and its community are inextricably intertwined.

                Quality of life is important for employee and community well-being. A living-wage job with opportunities for personal development and employee engagement within a safe and supportive environment are essential for good morale. Happy employees take pride in what they do, are healthier, and have good social relationships--and this spirit spills over into the entire community.

                Food safety is a major public concern and is a priority of food processors. It is the “product responsibility” of the food processing industry, and poorly handled prevention and response can erode trust in a company’s products. Regulations of the USDA and FDA are extremely complex, and companies direct significant resources toward compliance. But support of research on faster and better pathogen detection methods and new and safer processing and packaging will promote greater safety and consumer trust in the industry.

                Community outreach demonstrates a company’s vested interest in its community. Outreach efforts include partnering with community programs like community cleanup, charitable giving, or empowering those in need, providing vocational educational opportunities like internships, apprenticeships, or tours for schools, and delivering general skills training for employees, such as learning a new language, health/safety certifications, or technology courses. These can be achieved by offering incentives and/or time for employees to pursue their passions, while providing forums for employees to share ideas and work together.

                Questions to Ask:

                • What is your company doing to engage and empower employees?
                • Do employees at your company have opportunities to learn and grow?
                • What values/interests/passions does your company share with the local community?
                • What role can your company play in the local community?
                • Do you have programs to encourage employee volunteerism?
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              • Environmental Sustainability

                Environmental Sustainability is availability of resources including water, land, and energy to grow and process food products at sustainable rates, quality, and cost through continuous improvement.

                —Northwest Food Processors Sustainability Guide

                Food production practices can potentially have profound impacts on an ecosystem and its natural resources. The way we cultivate crops, redistribute water, and dispose of waste can mean the difference between a thriving wetlands and a desolate landscape. Through our raw products, food processors are directly linked to the natural environment. Responsible stewardship of the environment is critical to a sustained food processing industry.

                Land provides the substance from which our food sources derive sustenance and grow. It is the foundation of the food industry. Unsustainable practices can lead to encroachment of invasive species, degradation of soil nutrients, and over-reliance on fertilizers and pesticides.  The long-term viability of the food processing industry is dependent on healthy land resources.

                Water is the lifeblood of the environment, providing a constant stream of sustenance that can enhance or limit a region’s ability to survive. Water is a critical input to agriculture and food processing, and many of the larger food processors use over a million gallons of water per day. But water supply and availability are becoming significant concerns in parts of the Northwest as well as the nation. Industrial wastewater is also an important environmental concern. To assure that sufficient clean water is available for our and future generations, water must be efficiently used and wastewater properly treated and disposed.

                Waste and Emissions are of particular concern as new food safety standards have demanded sanitary packaging and containers that when disposed of can present a significant burden to the environment. Today’s processed goods are often individually wrapped, placed in lined retail packages, boxed for transport, and then placed on pallets or crates. This produces a substantial amount of solid waste that ends up in landfills and creates pollution.

                Energy is needed to fuel farm equipment and run irrigation pumps, to run food processing and packaging equipment, and to transport goods to market. Food processing is an energy-intensive industry and is the second-largest industrial user of electricity in the Northwest. In addition, energy generation and fossil fuel use account for the vast majority of greenhouse gas emissions.

                Questions to Ask:

                1. Does my company have policies and goals in place to manage our use of natural resources?
                2. Does my company have reduction or efficiency goals for water, waste, and energy?
                3. What types of waste does my company produce?
                4. What are my suppliers doing to reduce waste or use resources more efficiently?
                5. Can my company partner with nearby companies to reduce waste or increase efficiencies?
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              • Economic Sustainability

                Economic Sustainability is the development of innovative business opportunities, services, and products that produce positive company image and recognition.

                —Northwest Food Processors Sustainability Guide

                 

                Environmental and social efforts are crucial, but their lasting impact is limited by a company’s ability to survive even during difficult times. Economic sustainability assures that a company is viable for the long term by managing according to principles that support the environment and the community as well as the company’s economic well-being. The sustainable company operates so that its employees, customers, partners, communities, and shareholders all benefit.

                Shareholder value is an essential component to the longevity of a business. Incorporating sustainability into strategic planning and business practices can lead to better innovation, competitive advantage, access to new markets, and increased margins or market share.

                Innovation is critical to sustaining any enterprise; those that do not innovate eventually disappear. Sustainable innovation seeks to produce new products, services, and processes while efficiently using materials, energy, and labor and reducing waste. In essence, innovation leads to increased productivity, which leads to increased competitiveness and increased profits.

                Human capital protection is essential for employee morale and for accessing untapped creative potential. Sustainable companies recognize that employees are their most valuable asset. They understand the importance of encouragement and recognition for positive contributions and of engaging and maintaining a superior workforce.

                Partnerships can be an important investment as a company seeks opportunities for economic sustainability. Product and service providers, educational institutions, consultants, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations can be a source of information, solutions, and problem solving. Investigate the resources in your industry cluster, and engage them to assist your company in achieving its sustainability goals.

                Energy Efficiency Makes Good Business Sense

                Energy efficiency contributes to economic sustainability in the following ways:

                • Energy affects the bottom line; it can be a company’s single-largest uncontrolled expense.
                • Energy efficiency mitigates the impacts of rising energy prices or volatile energy markets.
                • Energy efficiency improves productivity, enhances reliability, and improves safety.
                • Energy accounts for over 90% of greenhouse gas emissions.
                • Incentives and technical assistance are available for energy efficiency projects and O&M.

                Because of the importance of energy efficiency, in 2009, NWFPA adopted a goal to reduce industry-wide energy intensity by 25% in 10 years and 50% in 20 years. Access the NWFPA Energy Roadmap at http://www.nwfpa.org under Energy.

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          "The rain didn't slow us down at all. Had a blast this year!"

                                                            - 2013 AAC Attendee

           

          "Everyone is having such a great time! The conversations with new and old friends is great."

          - 2013 AAC Hole Sponsor

          Committee Meetings

          Tuesday, September 30 and Wednesday, October 1, 2014
          Embassy Suites Hotel
          8235 NE Airport Way
          Portland, OR 97220

          BOD Meetings

          Wednesday, October 2, 2014
          Columbia Edgewater Country Club
          Portland, OR
          9 AM - 2:30 PM