Produce, Floral Industry Has $554B Economic Impact: PMA Study

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Produce, Floral Industry Has $554B Economic Impact: PMA Study

America's supermarket industry is but one of several interconnected parts of the dynamic U.S. fruit, vegetable and mass-market floral industry that contributes $554 billion annually to the nation's economy, according to a first-of-its-kind study by Battelle. The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) commissioned the study.

Using sophisticated economic modeling to analyze and measure the industry's field-to-fork reach, the study -- "Economic Reach and Impact of the Fresh Produce and Floral Industry" -- affects every state and congressional district in the country.

"This is the first study to reach across the value chain to define the full impact of the industry on the U.S. economy, from the farm all the way through retail and foodservice," said PMA president and CEO Bryan Silbermann. "Our industry has substantial economic and employment impact in the United States, contributing significantly to the economies of every state and congressional district in the country."

Overall, the study determined that the U.S. fresh produce and mass-market floral industry accounts for more than $275 billion in direct economic output, and a total economic impact of more than $554 billion when its "ripple" effects are included. Every dollar of production value ultimately generates $16.75 of total economic value.

The study encompasses all levels of participation in the produce and mass-market floral industry, including local farmers, organic production, farmers' markets, conventional production, all types of grocery stores and restaurants, and everyone in between. It also accounts for the ripple impact of suppliers' businesses and worker spending.

"The results show our industry's total impact is 4.23 percent of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), and one-third of total U.S. animal and crop production," said Kathy Means, PMA's VP of government relations and public affairs. "We account for 1.9 percent of all U.S. employment," providing 2.7 million full-time equivalent (FTE) positions, and nearly $72 billion in wages.

The study also details the industry's reach and impact by state, as well as for each congressional district, outlining wages, employment and economic output. The produce and mass-market floral industry contributed $1 billion or more in over half of all congressional districts, with significant employment in many states -- 100,000 FTEs or more in five states and more than 50,000 in 15 states.

Means said the new report offers critical new insights on a previously little-studied industry, as well as business and policy value to all industry segments, from private companies to associations to government.

"The results have significant application to federal, state and local government efforts, including lobbying, policymaking and program funding," said Means, noting that the statistics can be used by groups and individual companies in zoning, tax incentives, loan and grant requests, and business development proposals. Employment information can also help show the loss or creation of jobs resulting from industry influence, she added.

"Understanding and communicating our industry's impact on the economy is essential to our ability to create and influence good public policy, including agriculture and nutrition policy," said Silbermann. "The information from this study can help every company in this industry achieve its business goals. And PMA is already planning to use it to advance the industry's policy interests at the federal and regional levels across the United States."

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