History of the NJFPA

In 1904, the Western Packers Canned Goods Association joined with the Atlantic States Canners Association in a meeting to develop a national organization of canners. By 1907, the National Canners Association was established, in which New Jersey firms were well represented. After 1909, New Jersey canners became less interested in the national organization.

Many years later, the New Jersey Canners Association was formed, "through the interest" of Harry F. Hall, a longtime associate of the Campbell Soup Company, who would at the second meeting of the association be elected to the presidents chair. Harry H. Hankins of William Lanning & Son, Bridgeton, was elected as Vice President, and H.H. Mills of PJ Ritter Co, Bridgeton, was elected Secretary.

The New Jersey Canners Association created programs to promote growth, progress, and excellence, among food industry businesses;

  • The "Ten Ton Tomato Club" was a prized appointment, in which growers competed to produce more and higher quality tomatoes per acre than their peers, with awards lauded on those who met the ten ton clubs requirements, and also a special award for the grower who had the top producing acre ratings.
  • A youth program with the ten ton limit was sponsored also, to encourage the young to follow in the family business. Produce ten tons for processing from at least five acres of tomatoes, and you were a "Ten Ton Tomato producer!" A great career start for a budding leader in agribusiness!

With food industry businesses flourishing in Agriculture friendly New Jersey, the NJFPA was chartered in 1934, originally comprised of a few national canning companies throughout the state. It now encompasses member companies representing all facets of the food processing industry, including meat and poultry, seafood, dairy products, specialty foods, fruits and vegetables, and cereals and grain products.