Agriculture, Textiles, Foods
The five-county region serviced the Coastal Gateway Regional Economic Development Alliance has a rich history in agriculture, food, and textile production. Escambia’s farmland, Conecuh’s food – especially sausage production – and Choctaw and Clarke counties’ textile production remains at the forefront of the region’s overall production.
From 2000 to 2012, food and beverage production industries’ exports increased from $123 million to $586 million. Those two industries employed more than 33,000 workers in 2012, equaling almost 2 percent of all non-agricultural jobs.
Choctaw County still produces a large number of textile goods each year. Clarke County is home to AC Fabricated Products, Inc., and Fruit of the Loom. Conecuh County is home to Conecuh Sausage, and contributes to the state’s rich tradition in cotton production. It was also named the State’s Collard Greens Capital in 1998. Escambia County has the most agricultural influence, growing peanuts, raising beef cattle, and other products including soybeans, corn, and more. Monroe County raises peanuts and cotton for export.
In 2012, Conecuh Sausage announced a $6 million expansion project and 30 new jobs to the area, and in 2013, the Escambia Peanut Company announced a new $7 million operation and six new year-round jobs and many more seasonal jobs to Escambia County.