The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to provide stakeholders in the meat and poultry processing industry the opportunity to respond to its strategy to support meat and poultry processing infrastructure further. The RFI, linked here, is accepting comments through August 30, 2021.
On July 9, the USDA announced its intent to invest $500 million in expanding the nation’s meat and poultry processing capacity included in the department’s Build Back Better Initiative. Through this funding, the USDA will provide grants, loans, and technical assistance to eligible facilities and provide $150M to existing small processing facilities facing market strains as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The USDA will prioritize local and regional agricultural markets to ensure farmers and ranchers can compete competitively to sell affordable locally- and regionally-sourced products. The department is setting aside $150 million to strengthen existing small and very small processing facilities. The USDA regards the role of meat and poultry processing facilities to be paramount to President Biden’s Executive Order (EO) on Promoting Competition in the American Economy. The EO aims to increase competition within American markets and to streamline the USDA’s initiatives to strengthen the resiliency of local and regional supply chains and food systems.
Counties recognize food safety is critical to protecting the welfare of all American consumers, especially our children, and is the responsibility of public officials. Maintaining confidence in our nation’s food supply benefits agricultural producers and food manufacturers located throughout our nation.