USDA, others invest $5M to grow broccoli in East
Posted: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 8:01 pm
By STEVE SZKOTAK
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A team of East Coast researchers and agricultural agents hopes to take a bite out of the West Coast’s $1 billion broccoli monopoly.
They’ve received a $3.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and $1.7 million in matching private contributions to create a broccoli corridor running from northern Florida to Maine.
Their work has been driven by the rising cost of fuel to ship crates of broccoli from California fields to East Coast grocery coolers, the “eat local” movement and concerns about creating a sustainable, diversified food network.
U.S. consumption of broccoli has nearly doubled in the past 25 years.
East Coast proponents aim to capture a $100 million share of the broccoli market in five to 10 years.
Published in The Messenger 3.8.11