USDA efforts to create more and better markets will benefit both producers and American consumers through fairer prices, as well as address longstanding issues intensified by pandemic.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced details of a framework to transform the food system to benefit consumers, producers and rural communities by providing more options, increasing access, and creating new, more, and better markets for small and mid-size producers. The announcement builds on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain disruptions caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine. This announcement also provides additional details on the June 2021 announcement to strengthen critical supply chains and address longstanding structural challenges that were revealed and intensified by the pandemic.
The funding includes:
$200 million for Food Safety Certification for Specialty Crops Program for specialty crop operations that incur eligible on-farm food safety program expenses. These operations incur significant costs to comply with regulatory requirements and market-driven food safety certification requirements each year and getting these certifications opens new market opportunities for the farmers. The ongoing economic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic have made meeting those requirements even more financially challenging and more important to have access to additional markets.