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CIFT Membership Consortium Delivers Value


The CIFT membership consortium is one of the pillar’s of the organization and the core component of industry engagement.

The goal of the CIFT membership consortium, which is comprised of food industry businesses, suppliers, and academic institutions, is to enhance the economic viability of Ohio’s food and agricultural sector through advanced technology, research projects and job creation. Over the years many companies have quickly learned of the benefits of a membership.

Southwest Ohio based Synergy Flavors, located in Hamilton, Ohio (Butler County), is a leading global manufacturer and supplier of flavorings, extracts and essences for the food and beverage industries.

Their capabilities span the globe – not only with three manufacturing and technical support facilities in the U.S., but also locations in Brazil, Ireland, U.K., and Thailand. As a result of the CIFT membership consortium alone, Synergy has increased their product/process investment by more than $25,000, added jobs, and enjoyed several thousands in savings along the way.

“We have been very pleased with our investment in a membership, as CIFT can provide specific services not readily available from other providers,” stated Dr. Youngmok Kim, senior research scientist, Synergy. “We look forward to working with CIFT for years to come.”

CIFT member, Willy’s Fresh Salsa, is a manufacturer of seven flavors of fresh salsa found in thousands of stores nationwide. Looking to expand their retail options, the salsa maker sought to achieve the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global

Food Safety Initiative Certification, known in the food manufacturing industry as a leading global quality and food safety certification program.

The Swanton, Ohio based company, employers of more than 30 people, utilized their CIFT membership consortium by seeking assistance from CIFT, along with Savour Food Safety International (to assist with developing, coaching, training and implementation of the food safety and quality programs) and Richter International (for process authority assistance).

The BRC certification was accomplished in their first attempt – a rare feat for most small business food companies – and the AA grade received was the highest mark possible.

“The results of this initial audit exemplify the commitment and dedication of the entire team at Willy’s to making safe, delicious, fresh salsa while maintaining world class quality and service,” said David Cole, COO/CIO, Willy’s Fresh Salsa. “We are very excited for what lies ahead.”

Willy’s Fresh Salsa was able to hire 15 full and part-time employees for additional sales volume, and the company invested more than $1,000,000 in equipment and upgrades to the facility. The BRC certification also opens the door to private label and co-packing opportunities that were not possible to explore before certification.

This milestone for the company lends the strong possibility to adding more jobs as distribution grows. Increased annual revenue is projected to exceed more than $4,000,000.

With an international office in the U.K., the Grote Company’s corporate headquarters are located in Columbus, Ohio (Franklin County).

They are one of the leading manufacturers of top-quality food slicing and assembly equipment for pizza and sandwich restaurants. Grote sought a CIFT membership consortium because of the staff’s reputation for providing solid expertise to the food industry.

The membership has paid off.

Grote has seen an increase in sales of more than $500,000, and cost savings of more than $60,000. New jobs have been added as well.

“As we look to innovate and add new technology to benefit our customers, we are very pleased with the results of our CIFT membership and look forward to continuing the partnership,” stated Bob Grote, CEO, Grote Company.

CIFT members work with some of the largest accounts in the world.

Members have been at the forefront of advancing technology, demonstrating prototypes, and evaluating innovative technologies which has lead to commercialization activities and economic growth for processors.

View a full list of all our members.