PORTLAND - Entrepreneurs wanting to start or expand a food-related business in the Pacific Northwest can learn about special issues affecting food business enterprises at a popular short course on Nov. 18 titled "Northwest Food Business 101," with class locations in both Oregon and Washington.

The event will be 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 Parkway.

"Northwest 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."

As part of its commitment to advance Northwest foods, the center will extend the workshop through videoconferencing technology to link participants in Olympia, Wash., to the Portland program. The location for this simulcast is Washington State University Extension Energy Program, 925 Plum St. S.E., Building 4, Room 113. To register for the Olympia location, visit http://oregonstate.edu/fic/nwfb or phone (360) 786-5445, ext. 7916.

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, advance registration is required. The registration deadline is Nov. 16 by 5 p.m. Other groups who wish to arrange for the program to be offered in their area via videoconference are encouraged to contact the Food Innovation Center at 503-872-6680.

The Food Innovation Center is a collaborative effort of Oregon State University and the Oregon Department of Agriculture, with a mission of advancing Pacific 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