NC East Alliance

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Picture2.pngCheck out our Value-Added Ag Brochure

2015 Value Added Ag Brochure.PNG

Check out this presentation to learn more about the VAA Industry in Eastern NCCapture.JPG

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Video Testimonials

Hear from area business leaders about doing business in eastern NC.

Value-Added Agriculture

Why Value-Added Ag in Eastern NC?

- Available buildings and sites suitable for food processing

- Excess water and sewer capacity in several communities

- Critical mass of food processors and robust supply chains

- Array of 3PLs and trucking companies (frozen service)

- Extensive 4-lane highway network connecting to freeways

- Reliable power and natural gas at competitive rates

- Lands, soils and climate to accommodate a wide variety of products

Select Top Food Processing & Beverage Employers
Butterball                                                                      Turkey Farms
Carolina Classics Catfish  Prepared Fish & Seafood Products (Manufacturers)
The Cheesecake Factory Full-Service Restaurant
Cott Beverage Beverages (Wholesalers)
Covington Vodka Wines Brandy & Brandy Spirits (Manufacturers)
Duck Rabbit Brewery Brewers (Manufacturers)
Franklin Baking Bakers - Wholesale
Hillshire Brands (Sara Lee) General Merchandise - Retail
House of Raeford Poultry Processing Plants (Manufacturers)
Mission Foods Mexican & Latin American Food Products 
Mother Earth Brewery Brewers (Manufacturers)
Mt. Olive Pickles Pickles & Pickle Products (Manufacturers) 
Murphy Brown Farms
Poppies International  
Sanderson Farms Poultry Processing Plants (Manufacturers)
Smithfield Foods (WH Group Ltd) Meat Packers (Manufacturers) 
Valley Proteins Rendering Companies (Manufacturers)
Villari Foods  

Food Processing Wage Rates
Description Eastern NC NC USA
  Low High Avg. Avg.
Bakers (3011) $8.20 $12.17 $11.69 $13.04
Butchers and Meat Cutters (3021) $8.54 $15.66 $12.79 $15.26
Slaughters and Meat Packers (3023) $11.13 $13.62 $12.04 $13.00
Food and Tobacco Roasting, Baking and Drying Machine Ops (3091) $8.72 $16.41 $22.09 $14.89
Food Batchmakers (3092) $9.49 $14.48 $12.16 $14.48
Other Food Processing Workers (3099) $8.09 $11.70 $11.16 $12.40

Download an excel file of Food Processing Wage Rates


Food Processing Employment
Occupation SOC Average Employment
Animal Slaughtering & Processing 3116 27,800
Fruit, Vegetable, & Specialty Foods 3114 2,920
Other Food Mfg. 3113, 3119 2,840
Bakeries & Tortilla Chip Mfg.  3118 2,730
Seafood Product Prep. & Pkg.  3117 1,730
Animal Food Mfg. 3111 1,660 
Beverage Mfg. 3121 580 

Download an excel file of Food Processing Employment

Value-Added Agriculture Grows Strong Here

Eastern NC is internationally recognized as a major agricultural production area. According to NC Department of Agriculture statistics, North Carolina ranks first nationally in the production of sweet potatoes, and second in hogs, pigs, and turkeys. The state ranks 3rd overall for cucumbers sold for pickles, trout sold, and poultry and egg products cash receipts.


Much of the state's production in hogs, turkeys and other poultry is centered in and around the the region. There are more than 160 facilities within the region involved in food manufacturing. Total employment in the food industry sector exceeds 20,000 people, or 5% of the total workforce:

  • 7,500 in pork and poultry processing
  • 5,000 in food-related wholesaling and distribution
  • 2,900 in commercial bakeries
  • 600 in seafood processing.

Major food processing employers in the Region include many nationally and internationally recognized companies such as Mt. Olive Pickles, Carolina Turkeys, The Cheesecake Factory Bakery, and Sara Lee Bakeries.

Many locales throughout the Region provide exceptional amounts of water and sewer capacity to accommodate large processing operations.

The NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has four research farms located within the Region (and others across the state) that can assist with research in a broad range of areas of interest to value-added agriculture businesses.

North Carolina State University (NCSU) also makes research capabilities available to companies through its Cooperative Extension Services, and also through the Seafood Laboratory located in Morehead City, which is a part of the NCSU Center for Marine Sciences and Technology (CMAST).

And on the logistical front, there are more than 400 trucking and warehousing firms in the region to serve the food product manufacturing and distribution sectors.
Agricutlurl Brocuhre


Liquid Biofuels Study (Woody Biomass)

Through a grant from the Biofuels Center of NC, a regional biomass assessment was performed to determine the feasibility of developing a liquid biofuels industry in the region. In addition to the assessment of a Forestry Consultant, the individual sites as submitted by the counties in the region have been assessed in accordance with the criteria developed for potential sites by the Biofuels Center of NC. Click here to view the full report.

East Carolina Food Ventures Incubator Kitchen

Eastern Carolina Food Ventures Incubator Kitchen is a regional, shared-use commercial incubator kitchen designed to help develop food entrepreneurs, create new food businesses, grow existing food businesses, and provide workforce development resulting in new jobs and new economic development in eastern North Carolina.

More Info