A Prosser food manufacturer is planning a major expansion.
Tree Top Inc., known for juices and canned food products, is shifting its puree operations from Medford, Ore., to Prosser in 2023.
Building permits filed with the city of Prosser in late December show the company is planning a $6 million investment in upgrading its plant.
There are currently 100 employees at the Prosser plant and this move will add roughly 40 new positions next year.
The Prosser plant currently produces juice concentrates, as well as canned and frozen juices.
The company also offers a variety of purees made from fruits, such as pears, blueberries, plums and more. Tree Top is a grower-owned cooperative, using fruits from Washington, Oregon and California, according to the company’s website.
The Medford plant makes purees from apples, pears, apricots, peaches and strawberries.
The purees are typically used by commercial clients, and sold in large quantities with packaging ranging from 4-gallon pails to 55-gallon drums and 1,000-liter totes.
The company said the purees are used in a variety of food products, from baby and pet foods to juices and yogurts.
Tree Top will move its puree operations from Medford as part of a strategic move to invest in new technology that will allow the company to increase its market share of pureed goods.
The company announced its intention to close its Medford operations and expand the Prosser plant last summer.
“We put a lot of thought and discussion into this closure decision, and we care deeply about the Medford families who will be impacted,” said Craig Green, Tree Top CEO. “We believe this move is vital to Tree Top’s continued growth and our ability to make quality food we’d proudly share with our friends and family.”
The company said the decision was prompted by growing demand for U.S. made puree products.
The move will involve upgrading processes at Tree Top’s Prosser plant with new equipment, which will allow them to increase production capacity while positioning manufacturing closer to fruit sources.
They also hope to better meet changing customer requirements, reduce transportation costs and improve manufacturing efficiencies.
Medford employees will have the option to relocate to the Prosser plant or apply/relocate to any location within the company and continue their roles with Tree Top.
About Tree Top
Tree Top is a 700-member grower-owned cooperative in the heart of Washington’s apple country.
The company was founded in 1960 in Selah, Wash. One of the company’s main goals is finding uses for excess fruits and says on it’s website it saves more than 800 million pounds of fruit each year.
The company also produces juices, fruit-based products and ingredients for consumers and food and beverage manufacturers. They also are well-known for their popular apple sauce pouches.
Tree Top’s corporate office and visitor’s center is in Selah. In addition to the Prosser plant, in Washington the company also operates two manufacturing facilities in Selah and another in Wenatchee.