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We Are Making Progress

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Gary A. White Director Business Retention & Expansion, TRIDEC

Gary A. White
Business Retention & Expansion, TRIDEC

FABREO Columbia Basin, a food and beverage industrial cluster program, has been remarkably successful over the last year and one-half in positioning the Columbia Basin (centered in Tri-Cities, Washington State) as a globally recognized food and beverage region.  Highlights for 2015 include the following:

The first annual FABREO Expo 2015 was produced on June 12th, a regional (Washington, Oregon and Idaho) food and beverage trade show that exceeded expectations!

On August 5th TRIDEC (producer of the FABREO Columbia Basin Program) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) designed to develop food and beverage opportunities between the Columbia Basin and Hong Kong, Mainland China and Southeast Asia. This is a major step forward in developing FABREO’S Strategic Gateway Concept, positioning the Columbia Basin as the strategic gateway between America and Asia in the food and beverage industry.


TRIDEC attended a number of national food and beverage trade shows in 2015 (Winter Fancy Food Show – San Francisco, Natural Products Expo West – Anaheim, Summer Fancy Food Show – New York and the Natural Products Expo East – Baltimore) promoting the Columbia Basin and recruiting potential food and beverage processors.

On November 5 – 7th, 2015 TRIDEC exhibited in the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair promoting the local wine industry and recruiting Asian food and beverage buyers to attend the FABREO Expo 2016. TRIDEC also helped to recruit exhibitors for the Washington & Oregon Wine Pavilion, located at the Wine & Spirits Fair.

On November 14th, TRIDEC, in collaboration with Con-Agra Foods Lamb Weston, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the People’s Government of Wulanchabu, Inner Mongolia, China to develop food and beverage trade and economic development opportunities between the Columbia Basin and Inner Mongolia.

Even though we have just crossed the half way mark for 2016, FABREO Columbia Basin can be proud of a number of accomplishments, such as:

After consultation with a number of  local food processing companies such as Columbia Valley Family Farms, Lamb Weston and Reser’s Fine Foods, TRIDEC and Columbia Basin College developed two Technical Skills Training Programs for the region’s food processors:


The CPT addresses the core competencies for higher skilled production workers.


The CLT addresses the core technical competencies of higher skilled, frontline material handling workers in supply chain facilities.

On May 24 – 26th, TRIDEC, in collaboration with Lamb Weston and the Grocery Manufacturers Association Science and Education Foundation, hosted four visitors from the China Food and Drug Administration and two visitors from the Chinese National Development Reform Commission, all from Beijing. The purpose of the visit was to learn about food safety practices in the United States. The visit included a tour of Watts Brothers Farm, a visit to the Lamb Weston Innovation Center (Richland) and tours of the Richland Lamb Weston French Fry Plant, Preferred Freezer (Richland) and the Washington State University Tri-Cities, Ste. Michelle Estates WSU Wine Science Center (Richland).

On June 15 & 16th, TRIDEC produced the second annual FABREO Expo, which proved immensely successful in attracting such recognized food and beverage industry names as Tree Top, Milne Fruit Products, Lamb Weston and Costco Wholesale.

TRIDEC has attended a couple of national food and beverage trade shows so far in 2016 (Winter Fancy Food Show and the Natural Products Expo West), again promoting and recruiting.

TRIDEC, in collaboration with the Washington State Department of Agriculture, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the U.S. Commercial Service and the Washington Export Group has begun initial marketing and recruiting for a potential Washington State Pavilion at the Hong Kong Food Expo 2017. This effort will continue through 2016 and the first half of 2017.

The last 18 months have been busy and productive. It is amazing what can be accomplished with great vision and even greater people. I can hardly wait to see what happens over the next 18 months!




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