California’s food system is the largest agricultural economy in the U.S. and among the top ten globally. It produced nearly $105 billion in economic output in 2012, and it was responsible for over 198,000 jobs tied directly to manufacturing. The Central Valley, comprised of 28 counties located in California’s heartland, plays a dominant role in this economy as America’s “Farm to Fork Capital.” Production agriculture has been the Central Valley’s mainstay and competitive advantage, fueling growth in the food manufacturing sector as those industries are part of a highly integrated supply chain. Claiming more value from agricultural production through the food processing industry, along with its supply and distribution chains, is the Central Valley’s opportunity and challenge.
AgPlus Food and Beverage Manufacturing Consortium
The Central Valley AgPlus Food and Beverage Manufacturing Consortium was granted an Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) Designation by the U.S. Economic Development Administration in July 2015, one of 24 such regions across the United States. This designation gives the 28-county Central Valley priority consideration for federal grants and technical assistance from the federal government related to the food and beverage manufacturing supply chain. Designated communities receive support from 11 federal agencies with more than $1 billion available in economic development assistance.