GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A food processing company in Greenfield is being recognized as the Manufacturer of the Year in the Hampshire, Franklin, Worcester senate district.
Western Massachusetts Food Processing Center (FPC) located on Wells Street in Greenfield was nominated to receive this award by Senator Jo Comerford (D-Northampton) through the Commonwealth’s Legislative Manufacturing Caucus. The 6th annual manufacturing awards ceremony is scheduled at Polar Park in Worcester on Tuesday.
“The entire team at the Western MA Food Processing Center is so honored to receive this award. We take great pride in the products we manufacture here, both for local farms and food entrepreneurs. Throughout the last 20 years, we have become an integral part of the local food system and we hope to continue to grow in our role for years to come,” said Liz Buxton, Director of Operations at the FPC.
FPC started in 2001 that serves as an incubator space for new and growing specialty food businesses to manufacture their products. They employ eight people who help 50 clients launch products such as sauces, toppings, salsas, dips, syrups, and frozen meals. They also provide counseling and technical assistance with business planning, product development, regulatory compliance, and more.
During harvest season, FPC works with Hampshire County House of Corrections to employ people through the re-entry program. They are currently working to make products like pickles, pestos, and salsas for 18 farms and offered dry and cold storage services to another 8 farms.
According to a news release sent to 22News from the Office of Senator Jo Comerford, the Food Processing Center has the only Individual Quick Freeze (IQF) Machine in New England that processes local vegetables for schools, institutions, and retail. They continue to invest in specialized food processing equipment, much of which is funded by state and federal grant programs.
“The Food Processing Center is an innovative and inspiring operation. It’s an integral part of our local food system helping our region’s farmers expand the reach of their nutritious food and grow their food businesses. As it happens, the FPC also processes many food items that are beloved in our valley including many in my home right now! COVID-19 caused unprecedented shifts and disruptions to our local food systems, and I’m grateful to the FPC for its steadfast efforts in the face of tremendous adversity,” said Comerford.