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   Report Finds Arizona Leafy Greens Industry's Economic Contribution Totals $2B In Sales
by The Arizona Leafy Greens
Posted: Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at 9:07AM EDT

PHOENIX – As Arizona’s leafy greens season gets underway, the industry finally has a solid figure it can reference in explaining the important role it plays in the state’s economy, with a number that is twice what had been informally estimated in the past, with a total estimated sales contribution of $2 billion, according to a recent study conducted by the University of Arizona Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics.

“We examined the whole value chain, including on-farm and post-harvest activities to understand the broad scope of the industry’s contribution to the Arizona economy,” said Economic Impact Analyst Ashley Kerna Bickel, key researcher and contributor to the report titled Arizona Leafy Greens: Economic Contributions of the Industry Cluster. The study examined 2015 agricultural cash receipts for on-farm production and post-harvest activities, arriving at the projections using the IMPLAN economic modeling software.

The leafy greens industry cluster’s $2 billion contribution to state sales was derived from:

  • Direct sales from on-farm production of Arizona’s major leafy greens commodities and forward-linked post-harvest industries of $931.5 million; and iwc replica watches
  • Indirect and induced multiplier effects of more than $1 billion.

For purposes of the study, the leafy greens industry cluster included not only on-farm activities, but also the highly integrated functions involved in post-harvest, including cooling, cutting, washing, packing, processing, storing and shipping.

In addition to the $2 billion figure, the study specifically highlights these important data points from the 2015 information:

  • Arizona is the number two producer of lettuce (iceberg, leaf and romaine) nationally, second only to California, and Arizona’s Yuma County ranks second among U.S. counties for harvested lettuce and spinach acreage.
  • During the winter months (late November to mid-March), Arizona supplied 82 percent of the nation’s lettuce with an average of 1 billion pounds of lettuce shipped per month, and at one time during the 2014-2015 season, increased to more than 90 percent of the nation’s lettuce supply.
  • On average, leafy greens have accounted for 17 percent of the state’s total agricultural receipts each year since 2010 and during the term of the study (2015), leafy greens accounted for 19 percent of total agricultural receipts.
  • Nearly 27,000 individuals were employed either directly or indirectly by the Arizona leafy greens industry with 16.9 million hired labor hours needed for on-farm operations alone.
  • The leafy greens industry cluster’s total contribution to Arizona’s gross state product (GSP) was nearly $1.2 billion in 2015.

“We have apparently been a little too conservative over the years in estimating our value,” said Arizona Leafy Greens Food Safety Committee Chairman Jerry Muldoon. “But this makes sense, as our food chain has become more complex and the role of our industry has increased exponentially, with more people and process involved in protecting the integrity of the final product delivered to retail and food service outlets.”

The report was funded by the Arizona Leafy Greens Food Safety Committee and authored by the University of Arizona College of Agriculture & Life Sciences Agricultural & Resource Economics: Analyst Ashley Kerna Bickel, Analyst Dari Duval and Professor and Extension Specialist George Frisvold. The entire study, including data from direct sales, value added, incomes, state and local tax revenues and employment figures is available at https://cals.arizona.edu/arec/publications/cooperative-extension.

The Arizona Leafy Greens is a consortium of shippers of Arizona leafy greens that have put in place protective controls to ensure the integrity of leafy greens products grown, harvested, and shipped from Arizona. Arizona Leafy Greens is a volunteer network of growers and shippers that proactively diffuse potential issues through an intricate system of checks and balances. The program is administered by the Arizona Department of Agriculture and closely monitored by USDA-licensed auditors. More information is at arizonaleafygreens.org

Source: The Arizona Leafy Greens 


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