State 6th in Growth of Food Processing

Article excerpt

By Lou Anne Wolfe

Journal Record Staff Reporter

Oklahoma tied for sixth in the nation for growth in the food processing industry among states in 1991, according to a listing prepared by Expansion Management magazine and reported by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.

The trade publication's Julygust issue stated Oklahoma had 14 food processing firms that made announcements of new locations or plant expansions in the state last year. That put Oklahoma in a foury tie for sixth place on the listing for this type of announcement during the year.

State commerce department figures, however, show that Oklahoma had 20 such announcements, which would move it to second place on the list, behind California.

"We understand the magazine compiled their list from numbers furnished by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which could lag slightly behind ours in terms of being current," said Commerce Secretary Greg Main. "In any case, the numbers indicate we are doing very well in this industry."

Main said food processing is "one of those areas where we have been very active in recruiting and working with communities throughout the state. Our efforts are obviously beginning to show positive results."

The Expansion Management article tied Oklahoma with Texas, Wisconsin and Ohio for each having 14 projects planned, under construction or completed during 1991. California topped the list with 34 projects, followed by a threey tie for second place among Kentucky, Florida and Pennsylvania with 16 projects each. Georgia had 15 projects under way.

Among the larger announced Oklahoma expansions or new facilities are Bar-S Foods in Altus and Clinton, Advance Meat Co. in Enid, Century Ice of Oklahoma City, J-M Foods in Miami, Orbit Finer Foods of Choctaw, Pillsbury Mills in Enid, OK Foods in Heavener and Whitlock Packaging Corp. …