Fruit and vegetable production in Santa Cruz County, California, accounted for $434 million in annual direct economic output in 2011, according to a new study.
And when indirect and “induced” economic effects are considered, the county’s fruit and vegetable industry contributed about $740 million in 2011, the most recent year data was available, according to Economic Contributions of Santa Cruz County Agriculture. Agricultural Impact Associates LLC conducted the study for the Santa Cruz County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office.
In direct economic impact, the Santa Cruz fruit industry contributed $378 million in 2011, up from $223 million in 2001, according to the study.
Strawberries accounted for $198 million, raspberries $132 million and blackberries $29 million.
The county’s vegetable industry contributed $56 million to the economy in 2011, down from $60 million in 2001.
Fruits and vegetables made up almost half of Santa Cruz agriculture’s $898 direct economic contribution.
The Santa Cruz fruit industry added another $90 million in indirect economic impact — growers buying farm equipment, fertilizer, seed, insurance, banking services and other inputs. The vegetable industry added $14 million in indirect contributions.
Fruit accounted for another $179 million in “induced” spending — housing, healthcare, leisure activities and other household expenses of business owners and their employees. Vegetables accounted for $23 million in induced spending.