Media Room


NW Hazelnut Ribbon Cutting
September 1, 2017


Thank you all for being here. Thank you, Larry, for that nice introduction.

As you now know, Larry and I go pretty far back to when we were both serving in the Senate.

And now, it is an absolute joy to be here to celebrate this huge step toward sustainability for Northwest Hazelnut and the Oregon hazelnut industry as a whole. Although around here, we call them filberts.

Thanks to Northwest Hazelnut, Oregon is now home to the first 100 percent solar-powered hazelnut processing plant in the world. That is an extraordinary achievement, and Larry and Shaun should be very proud.

We as Oregonians should also be proud because Northwest Hazelnut leveraged $100,000 of incentives from our Energy Trust of Oregon for this solar project, plus another $51,000 for super-efficient lighting in their facility. Combined, these investments enable Larry and Shaun’s facility to be net-zero.

Northwest Hazelnut is part of a quickly growing industry that will strengthen Oregon’s global economic network. Ferraro, one of the best-known chocolate brands in the world and the makers of Nutella, is here with us today epitomizing those ties to the international community.

Hazelnuts are among Oregon’s top 11 agricultural products.  We are expecting the sector to shoot up to about number 5 in the next few years. So it’s especially significant that hazelnut processors are leading the way in sustainable practices and global connections.

Not only will this impact the future of our environment and the hazelnut industry, this sets an example for the agricultural sector as a whole.

Oregon has a strong tradition of fighting climate change and leading on environmental stewardship:

    • We took action to expedite the closure of Oregon’s last remaining coal plant in Boardman
    • We continue to invest in energy efficiencies, pursue renewable energy development, and support more sustainable business practices.

And despite the White House’s decision to retreat, Oregon remains committed to pursuing the goals of the Paris Agreement.

While Oregon is a small part of the global climate challenge, Northwest Hazelnut is just one example that proves we can play a large role in finding innovative solutions to preserve our natural resources, reduce carbon, and create a cleaner and greener energy mix of the future.

I will deliver this message when I travel to Bonn, Germany, this fall for the UN Climate Change Conference. I also look forward to bragging about this great story of Northwest Hazelnut’s commitment to innovation and sustainability.

I again thank Northwest Hazelnut for your investment in the future of Hubbard, the future of Marion County, and the future of Oregon agriculture. It signals to the rest of the world that Oregon is a great place to do business now and in the future.

Thank you.