Multiple industry sectors benefit from Florida agriculture, UF/IFAS economic impact report shows

February 3, 2017

Agricultural production is big business in Florida. In 2014, fruit and vegetable farming and commodity processing contributed $6.22 billion in value added (GDP) contributions to Florida’s economy. Florida farms produce commodities that are developed into food products found on grocery store shelves and in restaurants in Florida and all over the world.

In Florida, there are 45 individual sectors that are primarily engaged in processing agricultural commodities into food products for final consumption or use. The food and kindred products manufacturing industry group include Florida businesses that produce everything from soft drinks, bread and bakery products, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables and juices, among many others. In 2014, the food and kindred products manufacturing industry group had direct output of $26.37 billion, with exports of $10.34 billion.

Many Floridians may view agricultural production in Florida as just farms, but Florida agriculture is so much more. From the time a seed is planted, until it arrives in local restaurants and grocery stores or in communities far away, other Florida industries benefit from food production industry. Agricultural inputs and services including landscape and horticulture services, fertilizer manufacturing, pest control services, and veterinary services provide jobs and contribute to the state’s economy. In addition, food distributors, restaurants, and retail grocery stores also provide jobs and economic contributions to Florida.

Read the most recent economic impact report produced by the UF/IFAS Economic Impact Analysis Program ...

Despite successes, Florida agricultural producers must also overcome challenges related to domestic and international policy, trade agreements such as NAFTA, the Food Safety Modernization Act, and changes in operating environments that affect management practices, and keep abreast of technology development and innovation. With an ever-changing political landscape, Florida agricultural producers seek information that can help them make decisions that will help their businesses grow and thrive.

At UF/IFAS, we provide solutions. On February 9, industry experts and UF/IFAS researchers will present on a range of topics for discussion at the 2nd Annual Florida Agricultural Policy Outlook Conference. The goal is to examine critical policy issues facing Florida’s agribusiness leaders and explore valuable economic insights for making informed business and policy decisions.

Zhengfei Guan will discuss the current challenges facing agricultural producers from trade and competition, such as the Food Safety Modernization Act, NAFTA and the tomato Suspension Agreement. Dr. Guan will discuss how these challenges will affect management practices, technology development and innovation, marketing, and industrial organization. In addition, other UF/IFAS researchers and industry experts will share presentations on a range of topics including agricultural labor, water quality and supply, and food and nutrition policy.

For more information on the Florida Agricultural Policy Outlook Conference and to register, visit

By: Melissa McGinnis, 352-294-7637,

Source: Alan Hodges, 352-294-7674,