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    USDA Reduces Food Insecurity + Increases Access to Nutritious Foods with New Framework

    The USDA has announced a new framework that aims to create a more fair, competitive, and resilient food system. This system builds on the existing work the USDA has been doing since 2021 to address supply chain and structural issues. The last few years have shown issues in our food system we didn’t know we had… from supply issues in 2020 due to the pandemic to the more recent struggles with food insecurity and shortages during Russia’s war with Ukraine. The USDA recognizes this, which is a big reason for their new Food System Transformation framework.

    According to USDA’s press release the 4 main goals for this plan are as follows:

    1. Emphasize equity

    2. Build a more resilient food supply chain that provides more and better market options for consumers and producers while reducing carbon pollution
    3. Create a fairer food system that combats market dominance and helps producers and consumers gain more power in the marketplace by creating new, more, and better local market options
    4. Make nutritious food more accessible + affordable for consumers

    This plan intends to help throughout all 4 phases:

    production, processing, aggregation/distribution, and markets/consumers in the following ways:

    USDA Transformation Framework

    Source: USDA.gov

    Food Production
    • The USDA intends to help support farmers across America by providing additional investments to help them “process locally, sell locally, and adopt practices that are both good for their business and the climate.” Investments include:
      • Up to $300 million in a new Organic Transition Initiative
      • Up to $75 million to support urban agriculture

     

    Food Processing
    • The USDA aims to address the issues that exist in the middle of the food supply chain through:
      • The Food Supply Chain Loan Guarantee Program
      • Deployment of up to $375 million in support for independent meat and poultry processing plant projects
      • Creation of a robust technical assistance network
      • Investment of up to $275 million in partnership with lenders
      • Investment of up to $100 million to support development of a pipeline of well-trained workers and safe workplaces in the processing sector
      • $200 million for Food Safety Certification for Specialty Crops Program
      • Up to $600 million in financial assistance to support food supply chain infrastructure

     

    Distribution + Aggregation
    • The USDA plans to help grow and support local and regional infrastructure by making the following investments:
      • $400 million to create regional food business centers
      • $60 million to leverage increased commodity purchases through Farm-to-School
      • $90 million to prevent + reduce food loss + waste

     

    Markets + consumers

     

    These initiatives build upon existing legislature and commitments from the Biden-Harris administration and will provide support to farmers, ranchers, and consumers. By working with the USDA to build better markets, this plan intends to boost the economy by providing more infrastructure and job opportunities while also reducing food insecurity by addressing critical supply chain issues.

    For additional information, read the original USDA announcement.