Adding Value to California's Agricultural Output

California food processors turbocharge the value of California’s agricultural bounty by making delicious, safe and wholesome food products, demanded by consumers throughout the world. In the process, food processors create hundreds of thousands of jobs!

Whether it’s canning, pickling, drying, freezing, fermenting, brewing, baking, or bottling, California food processors add tremendous value to what is already the world’s most productive agricultural region. In the process, California food processors contribute to state exports, bolster local economies, add to the state and federal tax coffers, and provide hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs. In 2014, CLFP commissioned a study conducted by U.C. Davis regarding the specific impacts of the food processing industry on the California economy. Following are some of its findings followed by a link to the study.

➩$25.2 billion

in direct value-added

➩$56.7 billion

in additional value-added through
indirect and induced impacts

➩$82 billion

of total value added


direct full- and part-time jobs


jobs through indirect and induced activity


total jobs

➩$220 billion

in total value output

➩$10.5 billion

in Federal tax revenue

➩$8.2 billion

in State/local tax revenue


Employment in California's Food Processing Sector

California's food processors provide hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs. The number of people directly employed in the food processing sector totals 77,763 in Southern California and 66,138 in Central California (as of 2018). The tops five cities for food processing employees are Fresno (9,365), the City of Industry (6,586), Modesto (5,198), Turlock (3,314) and Bakersfield (3,557). Click here for a detailed map.


"Agriculture production is Los Banos’ economic cornerstone. A significant amount of jobs come from the food processing industry that takes raw commodities grown in the areas surrounding Los Banos and turns it into processed food or other value added products. The city benefits from the local food processors that employ local residents who in-turn spend their income buying daily essentials such as groceries, clothing, and fuel. The ripple effect generates sales tax and other various employment opportunities throughout the community."
– Alex Terrazas, City of Los Banos City Manager

Key CLFP Issues & Accomplishments

CLFP has had numerous successes in its 100-plus year history addressing a wide variety of legislative and regulatory issues on behalf of the food processing industry. Following are some recent accomplishments.

➩  During COVID-19 CLFP helped facilitate providing its processor members with free face masks and shields and hand sanitizer from the California Office of Emergency Services. The products were valued at approximately $2 million.

➩  CLFP has assisted multiple processor members in obtaining funds for plant improvement projects from the California Energy Commission’s Food Production Investment Program.

➩  CLFP is leading a statewide business coalition regarding regulatory reform to ensure agencies adhere to established administrative procedures, use a transparent rulemaking process, base decisions on facts and applied knowledge, and conduct thorough economic impact analysis when developing new regulations.

➩  CLFP has been actively representing the interests of food processors regarding the California Air Resources Board’s new greenhouse gas climate change regulations.

➩  CLFP actively partners with the state’s energy utilities and with the California Energy Commission to promote energy research projects and support well-funded energy-efficiency programs and energy grant programs benefiting food processors.

➩  CLFP has been leading a statewide industry coalition to oppose onerous and unreasonable new storm water permit regulations proposed by the State Water Board.

➩  CLFP works with the Board of Equalization to resolve tax issues affecting food processors.

➩  CLFP continues to actively engage at both the legislature and the state’s regulatory agencies on goods movement issues impacting food processors. Ongoing issues are truck weight reform, driver shortages and licensing, transport refrigeration unit regulations and federal hours-of-service regulation for seasonal agricultural haulers.

➩  CLFP in coalition with other industry organizations has been successful to date in keeping plastic and recycling legislation from moving forward. The two bills would create unprecedented product regulation in California that will increase costs.

➩  CLFP actively participates in rate proceedings and other regulatory matters before the California Public Utilities Commission continuing the fight for fair and reasonable rates for food processors.

➩  CLFP works closely with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District on emissions and permitting issues affecting CLFP’s food processors based in this Valley, actively representing them in the development of regulations, permitting, and reporting requirements, and working to ensure that all regulations are technologically feasible and cost-effective and firmly based in sound science.

➩  CLFP has worked closely with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to ensure new boiler emissions regulations are based on sound science and can be implemented in a cost-effective manner.

➩  CLFP continues to press the legislature and regulatory agencies to ensure the taxes and fees assessed on food processors are fair and consistent.

➩  CLFP has been instrumental in ensuring that the California Air Resources Board’s ongoing and increasingly stringent greenhouse gas, climate change and Cap-and-Trade programs acknowledge and address the unique characteristics of the food processing industry in its regulations.

➩  CLFP partners with energy utilities and the California Energy Commission to promote energy research projects and help processors participate in energy-efficiency programs.

➩  CLFP actively monitors OSHA and labor regulations.