We've got an Amy's Kitchen plant here in Southern Oregon which is expanding, along with Amy's.
The interesting angle to this story is that they were originally going to expand to a
closed Sara Lee plant they bought in South Carolina, as the majority of their customers are in the East.
But they couldn't supply the plant with organic produce from East of the Mississippi.
Read more: Access to organic crops is why Amy's Kitchen is expanding in Oregon, not South Carolina | OregonLive.com
There's more to growing an organic foods business than simply buying land, building factories and shipping a high-demand product.
You also need access to organic crops, which is largely why Amy's Kitchen
is building a $19 million expansion in southern Oregon instead of in South Carolina.
Amy's, the Petaluma, Calif., maker of frozen, organic foods, expanded in White Cit
y in 2006, building the company's first plant outside of California.
Amy's Kitchen, which has spent $19 million expanding in White City, discovered that when it comes to producing organic crops, such as tomatoes, East Coast Farmers have a long ways to go to match their counterparts on the West Coast.
Yet it also wanted a production plant in the Eastern Time Zone, which is where most of its customers live. So the company bought a shuttered Sara Lee pizza-crust plant in Greenville, S.C., two years ago.
But that's as far as things went. Because while it was out looking for greener pastures east of the Mississippi, Amy's discovered the Rogue Valley looked better. When it comes to producing organic crops, the company learned, East Coast farmers have a long way to go to match their West Coast cousins.
"There really are organic material issues on the East Coast," said Chief Financial Officer Mark Rudolph. "They are still developing an organic market for the types and quantities of things we buy. Onions in the South tend be sweet onions, they're just a different product than we use. A tomato is not a tomato is a tomato. We need the same consistency with our onions as our tomatoes. We're committed to consistency and quality of our product and taste."
<message edited by 1bbqboy on Mon, 02/18/13 10:07 PM>