SC PEACH COUNCIL
Peaches have been an important commercial crop in South Carolina dating all the way back to the mid 1800’s. The industry began to take off with the introduction of the railroad. Packing sheds were built right along the railway so that railcars could easily load the peaches up and ship them long distances before highways were even developed.
South Carolina now produces the second most peaches in the United States and the most east of the Mississippi River. In fact, in 2018, South Carolina produced more than double the volume of peaches that Georgia produced. This great accomplishment has contributed to the affection nickname of “The Tastier Peach State”.
South Carolina peach growers are incredibly passionate about growing their industry with many growers being third, fourth, and fifth generation growers. This long history contributes mightily to the high quality of South Carolina’s peaches.
Peach production is an important segment of South Carolina’s largest industry — agriculture. Alone, the South Carolina peach industry grosses approximately $80 million annually to the state and employs over a thousand people. This figure does not reflect the money spent within the state and local communities by the peach industry towards other related industries such as trucking, equipment maintenance, paper products, chemicals, and marketing. The income value of the peach industry to other industries is an estimated $30 million value.
The communities surrounding peach farms also benefit from the industry’s influence. Farms and businesses help improve the economies of the surrounding rural communities. The jobs brought to South Carolina’s rural areas by peach farms help increase the community’s standard of living, as well as, reducing the unemployment rate.
“Life is better than death, I believe, if only because it is less boring and because it has fresh peaches.” – Thomas Walker