- 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
|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)|
|Sanderson Farms||Poultry Processing Plants (Manufacturers)|
|Smithfield Foods (WH Group Ltd)||Meat Packers (Manufacturers)|
|Valley Proteins||Rendering Companies (Manufacturers)|
|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|
|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|
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:
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.
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.