USDA Reveals Plans to Enhance US Food System
Agriculture in Utah contributes billions of dollars to the state's economy each year. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released a new plan to strengthen the US food system for both producers and consumers in the face of supply chain challenges and rising food prices.
US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack declared on June 1st that the USDA intends to restructure the US food system to make it more robust in the face of supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia's war in Ukraine.
More food options, improved access, and additional market platforms are all part of the newly announced framework, which is aimed primarily at small-scale and rural farmers and consumers.
According to the USDA, the plan will provide over $150 million to food retailers in underserved and low-income communities that offer healthy food options, $25 million to modernise SNAP benefit technology and $100 million to establish the Health Food Incentive Fund, which will support healthy school meals.
Increased support for transitions to organic production methods and urban farming through the Organic Certification and Transition Cost Share programme, a $400 million investment in developing regional food centres that will coordinate food production and distribution from small to mid-size producers, and up to $90 million to address US food waste are among the new plan's benefits for US food producers.
This news builds on past measures such as the establishment of a financing programme to promote small-scale and independently-owned food processing infrastructure and a grant programme to help independent meat and poultry processing enterprises diversify their supply chains.
By decreasing food waste, promoting sustainable practices, and growing organic food markets, the USDA claims that the plan will shorten and strengthen the US food supply chain while reducing environmental impacts in the face of global climate change.
Source: Utah Public Radio