GROWING FOOD PROCESSING
Food processing is the third-largest economic sector in Detroit, including agricultural production, process, manufacturing and distribution, and retail and food service.
Detroit’s rapidly growing food systems generate approximately $3.7 billion in revenue and employ about 36,000 people annually. In 2013, the Detroit City Council passed the city’s first urban agricultural zoning ordinance, approving a variety of agricultural land uses within city limits and promoting agriculture in this urban center
At the heart of Detroit’s food processing and wholesale distribution industry is the Eastern Market, one of the oldest and largest public market districts in the nation. This market is a robust regional healthy food hub that can link new food initiatives to retail and wholesale markets, food processors, and food distributors.
Recognizing the city’s deep potential in agribusiness, Detroit offers two programs focused on expanding and enhancing the city’s food economy. The Detroit Food & Ag Network is a business-to-business support network for food processors, distributors, and agribusinesses. The Green Grocer Project, launched with a seed grant from the Kresge Foundation, offers a Grocer Clearinghouse for existing store operators, technical assistance with operational needs, loan funding, and a Façade Improvement Program designed to upgrade the exteriors of neighborhood grocery stores.
Detroit has a history of success in agribusiness.
- Pellerito Foods is the oldest known fresh-cut vegetable company in business and serves as a regional market, with customers such as prepared food manufacturers, soup companies, and national wholesale distributors.
- Wolverine Packing produces ground beef items, steak cutting, lamb and veal, and recently added seafood to its list of goods in distribution. Its long-term success lead to its recent expansion and increased employment opportunities.