The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced an over $2 billion Food System Transformation framework to improve the U.S. food system. Its goals are building a more resilient food supply chain that provides more and better market options for consumers and producers while reducing carbon pollution; creating a fairer food system that combats market dominance; and other actions.
|USDA Committing $215 Million to Enhance American Food Supply Chain|
Some of the key investments detailed in the USDA’s Food System Transformation framework include:
- Up to $100 million to support development of a pipeline of well-trained workers and safe workplaces in the processing sector. Initially, the USDA will invest $40 million into existing National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) programs, including the Extension Risk Management Education Program, Sustainable Agriculture Research Education Program, Agricultural Workforce Training Program, and Centers of Excellence specifically focused on supporting workforce development for meat and poultry processing. The USDA will also make investments to promote innovation and research and development to support independent business owners, entrepreneurs, producers, and other groups, such as cooperatives and worker associations, creating new capacity or expanding existing capacity.
- Up to $600 million in financial assistance to support food supply chain infrastructure for cold storage, refrigerated trucks, and processing facilities not covered by the meat and poultry processing program. The USDA will make investments to address the limited processing, distribution, storage, and aggregation capacity for a variety of food sectors, including high equipment costs, lack of competition, and limited supply chain and value chain coordination.
- $400 million to create regional food business centers that will provide coordination, technical assistance, and capacity building support to small and mid-size food and farm businesses, particularly focused on processing, distribution and aggregation, and market access challenges. The centers will be designed to target support to underserved communities in a particular region as identified by the applicant.
- Up to $90 million to prevent and reduce food loss and waste. USDA will invest an additional $30 million in the Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction Program and will fund a feasibility study and corresponding actions that will support a National Food Loss and Waste Strategy.
To read the USDA announcement, go to: https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2022/06/01/usda-announces-framework-shoring-food-supply-chain-and-transforming.