Food Processing

Competitive Advantages for Agribusiness

Located near the junction of California, Arizona, and Mexico, Yuma is a natural transportation hub with over 50 million consumers within a one day truck haul via Interstate 8 or US 95 both of which run directly through Yuma County.

Major Advantages

  • University of Arizona – Yuma Agricultural Extension
  • Senior water rights to the Colorado River water (1/3 of Arizona allocation)
  • Yuma's 40% allocation of the states allotment equates to approximately   949,200 acre feet/year.
  • 175,000 Acres of Colorado River irrigable land
  • A 350 day growing season with sunshine 95% of the year
  • 25  fresh produce coolers, 6  date and 4 citrus packing facilities
  • Produces over 90% of  leafy greens for the nation in winter months
  • Grows annually 150 different types of crops
  • The integrated dairy and milk processing operations provides 700,000 gallons of fluid milk each month
  • 145,000,000lbs of beef processed (live weight)
  • Salad plants  process up to 2,000,000 pounds of lettuce daily
  • Low cost utility rates (8.86 Cents?KwH)
  • Workforce with extensive experience in the Food Processing industry
  • Has a low dry desert environment which plays an integral role in food safety

Agribusiness State Rankings

  • Ranks #1 for lemons, tangerines, watermelon and cantaloupe
  • Ranks # 1 for winter vegetables
  • Ranks # 1 for Pima cotton
  • Ranks #2 for field corn
  • Ranks # 2 for Upland cotton

Other Advantages


  • Has a low dry desert environment which plays an integral role in food safety
  • Growers use the most advanced standards in food safety production guidelines
  • Arizona Leafy greens have never been implicated with any food safety outbreak

Yuma Manufacturers’ Association and Industry Training

The Yuma Manufacturers’ Association was formed in 2006 to support the industrial industries in Yuma. A customized training curriculum was designed around the common needs in food processing industries:

  • Industrial Electric
  • Programmatic Logistic Controls
  • “Super Manager”

Markets & Suppliers

  • Sarah Farms has a processing plant in Yuma. The integrated dairy and milk processing operations provides 700,000 gallons of fluid milk each month to Walmart, Costco Wholesalers and independent retail chains such as Basha’s and Food City directly from Yuma.
  • Greater Yuma’s economy is driven by our $3.2B Agriculture Industry. This includes the growers of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy.
  • Mexico Supply Chain — A number of companies, including Dole, Fresh Innovations and Fresh Express take advantage of our border location for twin plant and maquiladora operations.


  • Interstate 8 and Highway 95
  • San Luis II Commercial Port of Entry
  • New Area Service Highway (SR 195)
  • San Luis I Port of Entry
  • Yuma International Airport (24 Inbound/Outbound to L.A. and PHX)
  • Union Pacific Rail Road
  • 17 major trucking companies servicing Yuma

University of Arizona Agricultural Center

The University of Arizona Agricultural Center provides information and programs for agricultural producers and researchers in Yuma County. Working in partnership with local businesses, the agricultural center offers research and development in:

  • Plant physiology
  • Bio-chemistry
  • Seed chemicalization
  • Food safety
  • Agricultural mechanization
  • Other programs are available to companies who are developing new technologies, improving existing products or researching new ideas.