Field Fresh Foods Announces Processing Expansion

GARDENA, CA. – Field Fresh Foods, Inc., a leader in fresh-cut produce in the western United States, is expanding operations into eastern Oregon. In Oregon they will be doing business as FFF Farms, Inc.

The company recently purchased and is in process of updating an existing onion processing plant in Nyssa, Oregon. The acquisition takes place due to multiple business needs according to Emelio Castaneda, president of Field Fresh Foods. 

“For years, we have purchased and had a great relationship with onion producers in the Malheur County region of Oregon,” Castaneda said. “Those onions were stored in the area before shipment to our processing facility in Gardena, California. This move places the initial processing of the onions in the same area as our growers and continues the relationship with our partners.” 

FFF Farms will initially start with 60,000 square feet of controlled temperature storage and an 11,000 square foot peeling facility with room on the site for expansion. An initial hire of 25 personnel is expected with that number increasing to 40 as growth occurs. Onions, mostly grown locally, will be accepted onto the production line for peel removal and readied for production and distribution to customers throughout the western United States. 

“Malheur County has worked diligently to attract a company like FFF Farms,” said Judge Dan Joyce, the lead county commissioner. “The jobs created, the boost in the economy and the reputation of this company has been a goal of this county for some time.” 

In addition to job creation and a boost to the local rural economy, FFF Farms also brings the company’s spirit of social responsibility to the Treasure Valley. With a history of giving back to the local Field Fresh Foods community for the last 25 years, Castaneda said the relationship with Malheur County has also started. “We believe in being a part of the community and Nyssa is no exception.” 

The move also fits into the company’s sustainability initiatives by reducing the global carbon footprint while cutting transportation costs for the company.  At present, nearly one-third of onions transported out of the area have their trimmings used for animal feed at their destination, as they are finished at their final location. By removing the peels before transportation, the new facility will provide an additional source of feed for local livestock while reducing the carbon emissions resulting from transporting that trash. Transportation will now consist mostly of 100 percent finished product, ready for further processing and sale to customers. 

“We, as a company, have looked at eastern Oregon for some time for expansion,” Castaneda said. “We are excited for the possibilities this community offers and for our long-time onion producer partners.”