Last updated on June 17th, 2016 at 08:20 am
On June 13, Western Family Foods Inc. and Topco Associates LLC reached an agreement that authorizes Topco to source three of Western Family’s brands that are sold through independent grocery retailers across the U.S.
The brands are Western Family, Shurfine and Natural Directions.
According to a statement from Western Family, “Under this arrangement, Topco will provide the same quality and variety of products that consumers have come to expect from Western Family with no changes planned for either the products offered or the retailers that presently stock the Western Family brands.”
The Tigard, Oregon-based company added that the move should benefit both retailers and their shoppers, as the products now will be procured using “Topco’s large economies of scale.”
When the transition of the products is complete, Western Family’s office at 6700 SW Sandburg Street in Tigard will close and 58 employees will be laid off. Western Family is providing a severance package that includes assistance with career transition.
In a June 7 letter to those affected by the change, Western Family and Topco said: “Topco’s experience in product development and quality assurance, along with the economies of scale gained through consolidating purchasing with other Topco members, will bring many benefits to Western Family customers and our supplier partners. Upon completion of the transition, Topco will continue Western Family’s mission of offering high quality Western Family, Shurfine, Natural Directions and ShurSaving branded products and offering superior customer service that has occurred over the last 50 years.”
They added that the transition of procurement and marketing to Topco will take several months, with all orders and invoices continuing through Western Family until that time.
“At the conclusion of the transition, the Western Family private label operations in Oregon will stop and Topco will manage the procurement and marketing functions going forward,” they said. “Our goal is to ensure a seamless transition, minimizing any disruption to Western Family’s ongoing business. We are committed to creating stronger supplier partnerships, and as such, there will not be any Western Family supplier changes without a complete evaluation of all options and a thorough review.”
This transition of Western Family’s private label operations to Topco does not include the Western Family/McKenzie Buying Co. fresh meat program, the companies added.
Western Family describes itself as a full-service private label buying and marketing company, distributing more than 3,600 products in many areas of the U.S. and the Pacific Rim. The Portland Business Journal reported that Western’s 2014 revenues were $730 million, making it one of Oregon’s largest privately held companies.