Leaders of the New York City Council, led by Councilmember Rafael Salamanca Jr. came to Hunts Point to present a symbolic oversized check for $3.45M that will enable the city to add emergency generators at the Meat Market Cooperative (Co-Op), the largest meat distribution center of its kind in the world.
The Hunts Point Meat Market, which lacks emergency electrical generating equipment in case of a prolonged power outage, was originally built in 1972 as a 40-acre facility with 6 buildings, but is now over 60 acres with 7 buildings containing approximately one million square feet of refrigerated space.
The City’s Economic Development Corporation is the Co-Op’s landlord and the market facilities and operations are under the constant 24/7 inspection of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The funds will go directly to EDC for use by the Co-Op. The effort to provide this important funding was led by Salamanca Jr., with the support of City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who both personally toured the facility and met with business owners and their employees.
Councilmember Rafael Salamanca Jr. said, "The Hunts Point Market is incredibly important to our local community, our city and our state, and I'm pleased that I am able to help fund this much needed infrastructure."
The Co-Op is home to 50 companies, employing 1,800 directly and supporting another 1,200 workers in food service, transportation and professional services. The Co-Op’s economic footprint on the entire New York City region is massive. Its total estimated annual sales exceed $3.2 billion, selling and distributing some 2.5 billion pounds of meat to more than 7,500 supermarkets, butcher shops, mom & pop businesses, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, universities and catering facilities.
Bruce Reingold, General Manager of the Co-Op said, “The Hunts Point Cooperative Market is critical to the local Bronx economy, providing thousands of well-paying jobs and also serving a vital purpose in supplying 50 percent of the meat consumed in the New York region. This supports tens-of-thousands of additional jobs in the hospitality and food service sectors. We are one of the city’s leading business incubators and I want to thank the council for its advocacy and recognition of the important role we play.”
The Co-Op distributes 50% of all meat consumed in the New York region and supports over $650 million of direct and indirect economic activity in the City. It also supports over $8 million in direct and indirect tax revenue to the City. Each year it pays more than $120 million in wages and benefits, 80% of which are to New York City residents, with 97% of the jobs offering regional living wages.
Andrew Sussman, President of Plymouth Beef Company and Chairman of the Co-Op said, “This is an important first step in moving towards the modernization of the facilities that supply the bulk of the food that New Yorkers depend upon. Without a reliable source of emergency backup power, every one of the businesses here could see its entire inventory wiped out overnight, disrupting the city and thousands of businesses’ affordable food supply. This grant supports the resiliency so desperately needed by each and every business operating here and the thousands of workers who depend on them.” Plymouth Beef employs 150 local workers.
“We have been here since 1972 and are truly a family-run business,” said Ben Mosner, the third generation in the family business at the Hunts Point facility. “This grant money and the backup power gives us confidence moving forward, as a young company to stay in this market. We have people on our side that are going to help keep this market viable as we move forward into the future.” Mosner Family Brands has a workforce of 50.