Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Great Mix: Licking County and Food

I'm on the second draft of a piece on the food production industry in Licking County being put together as a collective work of the Licking County Chamber's Economic Development Committee .  The conclusion first:  Licking County possesses a wide array of capabilities that support the County as a prime location for the food processing industry.

Licking County is already home to dozens of production facilities ranging from dairy and ice cream production to plant sterols and wholesale beverages.  Combined, the industries employ over 1,000 people.

Central Ohio is also home to a wide array of manufacturers and headquarters too with bakeries, meat processing, cheese production, and beverage production in close proximity.

Raw materials are abundant in the region, including cream from Tamarack Dairy and eggs from Ohio Fresh Eggs. Plus, seven major food distribution centers are within a two-hour radius of Newark, including two Wal Mart food distribution centers.

Ready-to-build sites abound.  The sites boast abudnant water supplies, including a massive aquifer able to supply process water, and rail service on the state-owned Panhandle Line which promises open access for large, rail users.

Here's a few of the key bullet points in the piece:

Part of Major Industry in Ohio
  • Ohio saw $25.2 billion in food processing production in 2006
  • Ohio is located between the grain belt and populous Eastern markets
  • Ohio’s export capabilities are strong due to multi-modal distribution capabilities
  • Food processing is an important industry in Ohio, employing over 60,000 workers

Ready-to-Build Sites Suited for Food Processing
  • Major underground aquifer for process water
  • Capacity for public drinking water sources
  • Capacity for BOD-generating facilities
  • State-owned rail line provides open access for large rail users

Nearby Major Food Distribution Centers
  • Walmart (2), Target, Kroger, GFS, Mattingly Foods, and Meijer DC’s are within a two-hour drive

Nearby Agricultural/Food Industry Research & Development
  • HQ for Ohio Department of Agriculture located in Licking County
  • Located in proximity to Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Env. Sciences
  • Located 66 miles from Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center
  • Home to Dawes Arboretum for research, horticulture, and demonstration projects

Robust Local Agriculture Industry
  • Significant producer of raw materials
  • Significant user of food production byproducts
  • 90%+ family-owned farms
  • 40,765 acres corn, 67,567 acres soy bean
  • 701 acres orchards

A Food-Focused Workforce
  • Customized, food-industry focused pre-employment training available from C-TEC, COTC

Proximity to Support Industry
  • Packaging: PCA (Newark), International Paper (Newark), Unipac (Hebron), WS Packaging (Heath), Constar (Hebron)
  • Industrial Cleaning: MPW Services (Hebron)

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