Food manufacturing industries are traditionally considered to be a significance force of economic development of rural areas. By locating their establishments in a particular region, they create employment opportunities and increase demand for agricultural commodities grown in the region. South Carolina has a bery diverse agriculture. A wide variety of agricultural commodities is grown in the state, including grains (soybeans, corn, wheat, oats), fruits, vegetables and nutes (peaches, melons, tomatoes, cucumbers, peanuts), poultry and eggs, livestock and dairy (USDA NASS 2014). A diverse agricultural sector creates incentives for food manufacturing companies to locate their establishments in this area. In addition, it encourages agricultural producers to get involved in food manufacturing businesses. Food manufacturing industries are important sectors of the South Carolina economy. The objective of this research is to evaluate the size, structure and economic performance of food manufacturing industry in South Carolina during the period of 2000-2012. The analysis is conducted using a number of key economic indicators reported by the US Census Bureau Economic Census surveys. The analyzed economic indicators include the number of establishments, number of employees, annual payroll, value added and value of shipments. The results have implications for the food industry and policy decision-making process, as they provide evidence on the current and projected economic performance of food manufacturing industries in South Carolina.


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