The Tillamook County Creamery Association was organized in 1909 by several local creameries to ensure only the highest quality, best tasting cheese was produced and for the collective well-being of the local farmers.
That commitment has not changed. Fortunately, the Tillamook brand has grown not only in the Pacific Northwest but also nationally because of our continued dedication to providing the best dairy products to our fans.
However, as the Tillamook brand continues to grow, it becomes more challenging to efficiently service our customers located outside of the Northwest. As a result, we must look for ways to make the company strong to sustain Tillamook farmer-owner families. Over the past year, we analyzed the logistics and supply chain costs surrounding the transportation of our cheese. We determined that our current model was very inefficient due to the number of miles we move our cheese before it arrives to a customer and the high transportation costs associated with each mile. "Because our distribution network was in Tillamook, we would literally make cheese at our factory in Boardman, Ore., then ship the cheese back to the Tillamook factory to age, then ship the cheese to a facility in Mountain Home, Idaho, to be shredded and sliced, then ship the cheese back to the Tillamook factory to be warehoused and distributed to our customers, and then in some cases the cheese would be shipped back to Idaho to our customers there," says Harold Strunk, TCCA president and CEO. "So you can understand the inefficiencies this process was creating."
By adopting a strategy similar to other best-in-class manufacturing companies, TCCA will move some of its packaging operations to two co-packers to cut, wrap and distribute Tillamook cheese. The new co-packers have facilities that are more centrally located to our growing customer base. This move will improve operational efficiencies, decrease the time to market and the associated costs, making TCCA more sustainable as a farmer-owned co-operative. It is important to note that the Tillamook Cheese Factory will continue to make, cut, package and distribute Tillamook cheese, and Tillamook, Ore., will always be the home and headquarters of the Tillamook County Creamery Association.
Unfortunately, as a result of this decision, TCCA announced on Jan. 5 to its farmer-owners and employees a reduction of packaging positions at its Tillamook facility beginning in February. TCCA is estimating a reduction of 50 packaging operator positions. This does not necessarily mean that 50 individuals will be directly impacted. Through normal attrition and retirements, the number of people directly impacted may be less than 50. TCCA will work with the employees who will be displaced by the reduction, to offer them assistance during the transition, as well as working with Teamsters Local 58 that represents the affected employees. “Sending a portion of our cheese to be packaged in another facility was a hard decision to make, knowing the impact it would have on our employees, their families and the entire Tillamook community, but we must continue to pursue growth that will make our company strong to sustain the livelihood of Tillamook farmer-owner families”, stated Harold Strunk, TCCA president and CEO. Change like this is never easy and we appreciate your thoughts and comments. Please feel free to Contact Us or email us at info@Tillamook.com for more information.