Expanding markets and trade
The demand for agricultural and forest products will be driven by a growing global population and expansion of the middle class throughout the world. Alabama is well positioned to serve markets from local direct consumer sales, such as farmers markets, to global exportation of food and high-value wood products. Economic optimization of agricultural and forestry production requires that processing and wood product plants be located close to production locations. Failure to develop processing capacity while expanding production will result in other locations capturing the economic stimulus of value-added processing. Growth in the production of perishable products, such as dairy, vegetables, and fruits, will be limited by Alabama’s processing capacity.
- Expand the Alabama Farm to School Program as a catalyst for growing market demand for Alabama-grown produce.
- Increase the number of Alabama-based food processing facilities for meat, aquaculture, seafood, vegetable, and fruit products.
- Increase marketing options for modest-sized capacity producers.
- Increase third-party certified forest land by 10% by 2020.
- Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries will oversee the development of freezing facilities in areas of significant fruit and vegetable production.
- Alabama Forestry Association and Alabama Forestry Commission, in coordination, will develop an educational program for building professionals to promote increased use of Alabama lumber.
- Alabama Agricultural Experiment Stations will continue research efforts to develop cost-competitive biomass liquid fuels technology from Alabama forests and farms.
- Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, Alabama Forestry Commission, and Alabama Department of Commerce will actively promote Alabama agriculture, agribusiness, forestry, and forest products to domestic and international markets.
- The Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries will encourage all state agencies to aggressively promote the "Made in Alabama" brand and preferentially purchase from "Made in Alabama" companies.
- The Alabama Forestry Commission will cooperate with the Alabama Forestry Association to increase enrollment in the Alabama Tree Farm Program.
- Increase the number of farmers markets operating in Alabama.