Nogales Facility Receives 700K Expansion, Creates 200 Jobs
NOGALES, AZ - As one of the most talked about growing regions and ports around thanks to its prime location smack dab on the border, it’s no surprise that Nogales is once again the star of produce industry news. This week, the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas (FPAA) is celebrating a facility expansion in Nogales that is set to broaden the availability of fresh fruit and vegetables, boost employment, and increase economic development for the region.
Governor Doug Ducey’s proposed budget of $700,000 will be invested in the construction of a cold inspection facility at Mariposa Port of Entry. This funding will also help Arizona companies expand operations to be year-round, which will bolster the Grand Canyon State’s job market and tax base.
“Imagine Nogales companies selling strawberries, raspberries, sensitive leafy vegetable items, and more,” said FPAA President Lance Jungmeyer, who also noted that Arizona’s ability to distribute high-value, temperature items like berries—which Mexican exports to the U.S. total more than $1 billion, according to the USDA—would help reduce unemployment during the normally low summer months. “Presently these items are not imported very much in Nogales because inspection infrastructure is not adequate during warmer months. Now, Arizona can participate in these lucrative markets.”
According to a press release, in order to demonstrate the value of adding a cold inspection facility, the University of Arizona conducted an economic impact study, which showed the project could add:
- Between $43 million and $48 million in additional output (sales)
- Between $27 million and $30 million increase in gross state product (value added)
- Between 214 and 241 additional jobs
- Between $15 million and $17 million in labor income (wages and business owner income)
- Between $3.7 million and $4.1 million in additional state and local tax revenues
This study was commissioned by the FPAA, which along with Santa Cruz County seeks to invest in the cold facility. The facility would be administered by the Greater Nogales and Santa Cruz County Port Authority. To add to the state investment, the FPAA and Santa Cruz County jointly have pledged up to $500,000 toward the project. Learn more about the study here.
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