Food System Multipliers
The Food System Multipliers project is work conducted through the Rural-Urban Connections Strategy in partnership with ERA Economics and BAE Urban Economics. The project provides updated data, modeling and tools to better demonstrate the important role agriculture and food plays in the Sacramento regional economy. By linking crop production on the farm to a larger food system—aggregation, processing, and distribution—the project develops a series of economic multipliers showing the ripple effect of agricultural industries on the greater regional economy.
Initial work in the project has focused on how specialty crop production (fruits, vegetables, tree nuts and nursery products) within the six-county Sacramento region forms the basis for a high-valued food system that creates jobs in both rural and urban areas. Key economic benefits of this specialty crop food cluster include recent job and output growth that has outpaced the regional economy at large, a higher economic multiplier than many other industry clusters, and opportunities in both export and local markets. Future work can expand the analysis beyond specialty crops to look at the full agricultural system.
The specialty crop component of the Food System Multipliers project has produced three deliverables. First, the project’s Executive Summary synthesizes the highly technical economic modeling and data results for a more general audience. Next, the Food System Multipliers Technical Report provides the documentation and analysis for the project’s economic modeling efforts. Finally, the Specialty Crop Cluster Assessment explores how specialty crop production fits within a larger industry cluster and documents how this cluster has responded since the recent recession.