Food Processing & Food Ingredients

Key industry advantages

  • Our region is home to internationally recognized companies including Hormel/Progressive Processing, Prairie Farms Dairy, Bimbo Bakeries USA, and Rousselot.
  • Dubuque is a transportation hub. Our central location provides companies with low-cost trucking options, a large network of four-lane highways and close proximity to Interstate 80 & 35 providing coast-to-coast access.
  • Dubuque’s recently upgraded, high-capacity water and wastewater systems are state-of-the-art. Learn more under Utilities
  • Dubuque’s natural gas and electric utility provide high-volume usage for manufacturing of food products.
  • Our area offers a variety of large shovel-ready industrial sites.
  • Dubuque’s location provides cost-effective access to Iowa’s agricultural resources. The state is the nation’s number one producer of corn, soybeans, and eggs. (USDA, 2012)
  • The Dubuque Industrial Center West is equipped with dual electric feed which provides redundancy in infrastructure from two different substations. This reduces exposure to service interruptions.


  • The Greater Dubuque region offers a unique and proven employee recruitment tool for the tri-state market called
  • Clarke University, located in Dubuque, launched a food science degree in 2014, after consulting with area industry professionals and business leaders. Facilities include a new, cutting-edge Food Research and Development Lab.
  • The State of Iowa New Jobs Training Program, administered by Northeast Iowa Community College, provides funding for various costs associated with new worker training and education, as well as incumbent worker training and skills upgrades.

State Business Advantages

  • Iowa is a right-to-work state.
  • Businesses receive a 50 percent deduction of federal corporate income tax from the state income tax.
  • Iowa is one of only a few states in the nation to consistently offer a refundable research and development activities tax credit.
  • Iowa’s workers’ compensation costs are among the nation’s lowest. The average cost of workers’ compensation insurance for manufacturers in Iowa is 16 percent lower than the national average. Iowa law provides for employers choice of doctor.
  • In the State of Iowa, there is:
    • No corporate income tax on profits from sales made outside of Iowa. (Manufacturers selling all products outside of Iowa pay no Iowa corporate income tax.)
    • No sales or use tax on purchases of machinery, equipment, or computers used for manufacturing.
    • No sales tax on the purchases of electricity or natural gas used directly in the manufacturing process.
    • No sales tax on materials used in the manufacturing process.
    • No personal property tax for corporate inventories of goods-in-process, raw material, or salable goods.