PORTLAND - Entrepreneurs wanting to start or expand a food-related business can learn about special issues affecting food business enterprises at a short course titled "Northwest Food Business 101," on Aug. 26, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Food Innovation Center in Portland. The Food Innovation Center, part of Oregon State University, is located at 1207 N.W. Naito Pkwy.

The center will extend the workshop through videoconferencing to link participants in Everett, Wash., to the Portland program. The location for this simulcast is Washington State University Snohomish County Extension Office, 600 128th St. SE. For directions or to register by phone for the Everett location, contact Mike Hackett at 425-357-6017.

The fee for the half-day course is $50 per person, which includes a workbook and light refreshments. For more information, or to register online, go to the center's website at http://oregonstate.edu/fic/nwfb, call 503-872-6680, or send an e-mail inquiry to fic@oregonstate.edu.

Because of the popularity of the program and limitations on seating at both locations, advanced registration is required. Registration deadline is Aug. 24 by 5 p.m. The NW Food Business 101 workshop will be offered again at the FIC on Nov. 18. Additional remote locations are to be determined. Groups wishing to arrange for the program to be offered in their area via videoconference are encouraged to contact the FIC by calling 503-872-6680.

"NW Food Business 101 was developed by the Food Innovation Center's business development team," said Aaron Johnson, food business strategy specialist at the center. "The course offers an overview of the key requirements for a useful food business plan and highlights some of the technical, product development, production, legal, insurance, marketing and distribution issues that affect new enterprises in the food industry."

The Food Innovation Center is a collaborative effort of Oregon State University and the Oregon Department of Agriculture with a mission of advancing northwest food and agricultural enterprises through innovation. It is a unique incubator for new food businesses and the only urban-based Agriculture Experiment Station in the United States.

Its facilities include analytical laboratories, food product development kitchens, package engineering, export guidance, sensory and consumer testing and market research assistance.

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Carol Coren, 503-872-6657