POTENTIAL ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF THE PROPOSED ALACHUA COUNTY MEAT PROCESSING FACILITY
In 2022, the Alachua County Office of Sustainability, Equity, and Economic Development Strategies began exploring the opportunity to construct a meat processing facility near Newberry, FL that can serve the local ranching and animal production community. The proposed meat processing facility is expected to be roughly 10,000 square feet in size and capable of handling up to 15 carcasses per operational day.
This analysis was commissioned by the Alachua County Office of Sustainability, Equity, and Economic Development Strategies to evaluate the potential economic impacts of the proposed Alachua County meat processing facility to the county, and the state in support of informed decision-making. The potential economic impacts of capital expenditures and operation and maintenance activity associated with the potential Alachua County meat processing facility were estimated using data provided by Alachua County representatives and consultants on capital expenditures as well as employment associated with operations and maintenance, and regional economic models representing the economic structure for Alachua County and the State of Florida, constructed with the IMPLAN software for 2021 (IMPLAN Group, LLC). Short-term economic impacts of the construction phase were estimated separately from the ongoing economic impacts resulting from the longer-term operation and maintenance activities of the proposed facility. This analysis is not and does not purport to be a business plan or feasibility analysis of any form (technical, financial, or economic).
Estimated sales revenues associated with operations and maintenance of the proposed meat processing facility depend on the number of carcasses processed per day. Five potential levels of economic activity for operations and maintenance of the proposed meat processing facility were analyzed. The first level includes 1 plant manager (~$85,000/year in salary/wages/benefits), 1 Quality Assurance/Quality Control manager ($75,000/year in salary/wages/benefits), 4 skilled labor positions ($55,000/ year in salary/wages/benefits, each), and 2 unskilled labor positions ($40,000/year in salary/wages/benefits, each). The remaining four levels use the same baseline employment configuration, but each level increases by 1 skilled labor position as the carcass count increases. Estimated sales revenues of a facility processing 4–15 animals a day range from $5.56 million to over $8.33 million with corresponding labor income and value added ranges of $690,000–$1.035 million and $998,000–$1.497 million, respectively.
The estimated short-term economic impacts (including multiplier effects) within Alachua County resulting from constructing the Alachua County facility include 16 job-years,
$2.084 million in industry output (sales revenues), $1.018 million in total value added, and $766,000 in labor income. Potential ongoing economic impacts (including multiplier effects) within Alachua County resulting from the operations and maintenance phase of the proposed Alachua County facility vary by the number of carcasses processed per day and range from 53–80 job-years, $10.793–$16.191 million in industry output (sales revenues), $3.434–$5.151 million in total value added, and $2.240–$3.360 million in labor income.
The accuracy of the results presented will depend on how closely the actual construction and operations and maintenance activity levels come to those estimated by the Alachua County representatives and consultants. It is also worth noting that these estimates are based on industry-level expenditure patterns and interindustry relationships within Alachua County and the State of Florida as they existed in 2021. The extent to which the economic impacts of Hurricane Ian, Hurricane Nicole, and other recent state, national, and global events might change these relationships is currently unknown.
Suggested Citation: Court, Christa D., J. P. Ferreira., X. Qiao, E. Orlando, and E. Lantzy. “Potential Economic Impacts of the Proposed Alachua County Meat Processing Facility.” UF/IFAS Economic Impact Analysis Program, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Food & Resource Economics Department, Gainesville, FL, May 2023.