First Step toward Modernizing the Wholesale Produce Market to Remain Regionally Competitive

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that Hunts Point Terminal Produce Cooperative Association will conduct a feasibility study to determine the best way to upgrade the facilities at the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market, in the Bronx, to remain competitive in the region and comply with federal food-safety standards.

“The Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market has been putting food on our tables and creating jobs in the New York City region for decades,” said ESD President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “With upgraded facilities, it will continue to provide a marketplace for local farmers for years to come. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York State is working to upgrade vital infrastructure from Buffalo to Long Island.”

“For the past fifty years, the Hunts Point Produce Market has been a vital engine of commerce in the South Bronx – generating nearly $500 million in annual impact,” said Hunts Point Produce Market Cooperative Association Co-Presidents Joel Fierman and Joseph Palumbo. “Thanks to ESD, we will have a realistic look at how best to ensure we remain competitive, retain and expand our employment footprint, and evolve to meet the needs of New Yorkers for the next fifty years. It is our intention to keep the Market here in the Bronx. Much like the Yankees, this is our home – and with the State’s help we can remain here.”

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. said, “My office welcomes this much needed study made possible by Empire State Development. The Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market is one of our largest employers and an economic development engine that drives the entire region. It is important that we take a strong look at the market and plan for a stronger, safer and more fruitful future for the businesses and the thousands of workers employed within. I commend Governor Cuomo and ESD for committing considerable funding to take a serious look at the infrastructure and redevelopment needs of perhaps the largest food market in the world.”

The Hunts Point Terminal Produce Cooperative Market will conduct the necessary engineering studies to determine the feasibility and cost estimates of renovating its existing buildings vs constructing new buildings and infrastructure at its Bronx location. The work will be necessary to keep the market competitive with others in Philadelphia and Boston and will ensure that the Market complies with current and future federal food regulations.

The Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market employs 10,000 people and generates $2.4 billion in sales annually. The market operates as a cooperative, with an elected board of directors. It receives 210 million packages of fruits and vegetables each year, from 55 countries and 49 states, catering to the most ethnically diverse region in the world, with an estimated population of 23 million people.

To encourage the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Cooperative Association to proceed with this feasibility study ESD is providing it with a $250,000 Regional Economic Development Council grant. The study is expected to be completed by September 2016.