USDA investments to strengthen critical food supply chains

Last Modified: Sat Jun 12 2021 00:31:44 GMT+0530 (India Standard Time)
  • 08 Jun 2021
    Citing lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and recent supply chain disruptions, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced plans to invest in efforts to strengthen critical supply chains through the Build Back Better initiative. The new efforts will strengthen the food system, create new market opportunities, tackle the climate crisis, help communities that have been left behind, and support good-paying jobs throughout the supply chain.
  • $4 billion
    USDA investment that will help to ensure the food system of the future is fair, competitive, distributed, and resilient; supports health with access to healthy, affordable food; ensures growers and workers receive a greater share of the food dollar; and advances equity as well as climate resilience and mitigation. “The COVID-19 pandemic led to massive disruption for growers and food workers. It exposed a food system that was rigid, consolidated, and fragile. Meanwhile, those growing, processing and preparing our food are earning less each year in a system that rewards size over all else,” according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
  • 4
    Priority areas where the funding announcements under the Build Back Better initiative will be used through a mix of grants, loans, and innovative financing mechanisms, each of which includes mechanisms to tackle the climate crisis and help communities that have been left behind. The priority areas are:
  • 1
    Food Production: Food production relies on growers, including farmers and ranchers, workers, and critical inputs. But a diminishing share of the food dollar goes to these essential workers. USDA will invest in the current and future generation of food producers and workers throughout the food system with direct assistance, grants, training and technical assistance, and more.
  • 2
    Food Processing: The pandemic highlighted challenges with consolidated processing capacity. It created supply bottlenecks, which led to a drop in effective plant and slaughter capacity. Small and midsize farmers often struggled to compete for processing access. USDA will make investments to support new and expanded regional processing capacity.
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    Food Distribution & Aggregation: Food aggregation and distribution relies on people working together throughout the food system and having the right infrastructure to gather, move and hold the food where and when it is needed. This system was stressed during the pandemic due to long shipping distances and lack of investment in local and regional capacity. USDA will make investments in food system infrastructure that can remain resilient, flexible and responsive.
  • 4
    Markets & Consumers: The U.S. spends more on health care and less on food than any other high-income nation; yet the U.S. has higher rates of diet-related illness and a lower life expectancy than those nations. At the same time, many socially disadvantaged and small and mid-sized producers do not have equitable access to markets. USDA will support new and expanded access to markets for a diversity of growers while helping eaters access healthy foods.