New Community Food System Indicators on OSU’s Rural Community Explorer!

Updated data on Oregon’s food processors, food stores, farm employment and compensation, and SNAP access are available on OSU Extension’s Rural Community Explorer’s Communities Reporter for the state and all counties.  The CFS Indicators are a partnership between OSU Extension and the Oregon Community Food Systems Network

Here are a few highlights:

Food Processing Industry Continues to Grow, as do Specialty Food Stores

Newly released data on Oregon’s food processors shows continued growth especially among very small (5-9 employees) and large companies (more than 250 employees).

  • Total number of food processors has increased 16.3% from 2011 to 2016.
  • Food processing jobs have increased 19.3%, and payroll is up 28.5% from 2011-2016.
  • Oregon has added 77 new food stores from 2011 to 2016, an increase of 2.7% similar to the nation.
  • There are 5,501 people for every grocery store in the state, a 3% increase
  • Specialty food stores, which are declining nationally, increased 1.4% in the state.
  • Read about more changes here: “Change in the Number and Distribution of Food Stores in Oregon, 2011-2016.” 

We will report on county-level changes to food processors in a similar upcoming Extension article. 

Food Insecurity Improves, Average Costs Increase

  • Statewide SNAP participation rates continue to fall after the Great Recession. In 2012, 20.8 percent of the state’s population participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, in 2017 participation rates have decreased to 16.2%.
    • 92 Farmers Markets across the state accept SNAP payments, unchanged from 2016.
  • The percentage of individuals who are food insecure has decreased by nearly one-third from 17.9% to 12.9% from 2011 – 2016.
  • The average cost of a meal is up 34 cents, to $2.93, which is a 13.1% increase from 2011 to 2016. Nationally, the average cost for a meal was $3.00 in 2016.

Farm Employment and Compensation Relatively Unchanged in Last 5 Years

  • Statewide farm employment was 62,268 jobs in 2016, stable since 2012. Farm compensation has also remained flat over that period after adjusting for inflation. 

We will have a more comprehensive update on Oregon’s agricultural sector after the USDA releases state and county-level 2017 Ag Census data in April.  Stay tuned for another update.

Accessing Data:

Users can access all available data, visualize trends, compare regions, and see statewide maps.

Need a quick glance at all of the data for your county at once? This document contains the most recent data points and shows change from one prior period.

Finally, if this is the first time you have heard about the Community Food Systems Indicators, please read this short introduction.

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