Naturally Advanced hires Oregon flax adviser
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Naturally Advanced is moving forward with its plan to source flax from the Willamette Valley with the hire of a crop adviser.
Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc. on Tuesday morning announced it hired a Salem-based crop adviser to contract with farmers to grow flax in the Willamette Valley for use in the company's natural fibers used by textile companies.
Naturally Advanced, which has its executives based in Portland, is working with Ralph Fisher and with Oregon State University to evaluate different strains of flax and identify the type that will give the greatest yields in the region.
Naturally Advanced announced in December it would source flax from the Willamette Valley and potentially locate a processing facility in Oregon to supplement its current fiber processing operation in South Carolina.
That announcement came at the same time that Target Corp. said it would test Naturally Advanced flax-based Crailar fiber for use in towels and other textiles.
Other companies working with Naturally Advanced include Hanes, Levi's and Carhartt.
"Oregon's history in the flax industry, combined with the presence of our U.S. operations in Portland, made it a logical choice to explore the Willamette Valley as our second major growing region. As we did, Ralph's name came up at every single meeting, often multiple times. Once we met in person and worked on a few projects together, this decision was very easy to make," said Jay Nalbach, Naturally Advanced's chief marketing officer, in a press release.
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