California strawberry industry contributes $3.4B to economy

03/18/2014 01:13:00 PM
Andy Nelson

The California strawberry industry contributes $3.4 billion to the economy, according to a new study.

Sustaining California Communities: Economic Contributions of Strawberry Farming, written by the Watsonville-based California Strawberry Commission, was released March 18, according to a commission news release.

California growers produce almost 90% of U.S. strawberries, according to the report.

The state’s 400 strawberry farms create about 70,000 farm jobs and grow fruit on fewer than 40,000 acres, less than 1% of all California farmland, according to the report.

Strawberry farming creates jobs and generates revenue beyond the farm, according to the report. For every farm dollar made, 97 cents is invested back into the community, and strawberry farming accounts for about $108 million in annual tax revenue.

In addition, an industry scholarship program helps pay for higher education for the children of farm workers.

“California strawberry farming is a tremendous asset to the state and nation,” economist Jim Schaub said in the release. “The dollars that come into strawberry farms go back out as wages, land costs, payments for farm inputs and services, regulatory costs, and property and business taxes.”



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