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The Maryland Food Center Authority started in 1967 as the Greater Baltimore Consolidated Wholesale Food Market Authority (Chapter 145, Acts of 1967). The Authority was formed to establish and run a consolidated food center within the Greater Baltimore Region. In 1975, the Authority was reorganized as the Maryland Wholesale Food Center Authority (Chapter 729, Acts of 1975). The Authority received its present name in 1979 (Chapter 482, Acts of 1979).

A public instrumentality of the State, the Maryland Food Center Authority operates the Maryland Wholesale Food Center (for produce and seafood), and the Rock Hall Seafood Processing Plant.

The Authority has twelve members. Eight are named to five-year terms by the Governor with Senate advice and consent. Four serve ex officio (Code Economic Development Article, secs. 10-201 through 10-229).


Governing almost 400 acres, the Center includes the Maryland Wholesale Produce Market and the Maryland Wholesale Seafood Market. With many different types of food operations at one site, the Center provides quality food products efficiently and inexpensively. It employs nearly 3,500 Marylanders, using approximately 442,000 square feet of food warehouse space.

Immediately adjacent to Interstate 95, the Center is located in Howard County near Jessup at the intersection of U.S. Route 1 and Maryland Route 175. Rail-served, the Center is less than 20 minutes from shippers through the Port of Baltimore or BWI Airport.

7460 Conowingo Ave., Jessup, MD 20794

In 1976, the Maryland Wholesale Produce Market began operation. The Maryland Food Center Authority leases space in the Market to privately-owned firms engaged in the wholesale distribution of fresh produce. Nearly all of the fresh fruits and vegetables sold throughout a five-state Mid-Atlantic area and the District of Columbia are distributed through the Market. It is a critical link in the daily supply of produce to restaurants, chain grocers, hotels, wholesale food processors, and consumer buying groups.

The Market distributes an enormous volume of produce, including exotic varieties and items which might otherwise be unavailable unless purchased in very large shipments. In its two buildings (covering 330,000 square feet of terminal space), virtually any type of produce grown in the United States and around the world is available daily. On-site inspectors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture grade all produce, verifying quality every day.

7901-A Oceano Ave., Jessup, MD 20794

When the Baltimore Fish Market closed in 1984, the Maryland Wholesale Seafood Market opened. The Market is the regional seafood distribution facility for the Mid-Atlantic and its twelve vendors form one of the largest operations supplying fresh seafood and shellfish to the East coast. Wholesalers market fresh seafood from the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic waters, as well as exotic imports, to restaurants, grocers, and specialty stores.

The Market consists of over 112,000 square feet of packing, refrigeration and distribution space. It is open six days a week all year, closing occasionally on holidays. Several merchants also sell seafood products to the general public on a retail basis.

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 Maryland Manual On-Line, 2009

July 1, 2009   
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