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Pandemic and Supply Chain Lessons Lead to Improved Food System Framework

06/20/2022 Written by: Gina Ekstam

The pandemic and supply chain disruptions have revealed longstanding issues with getting food from farm to table. In an effort to strengthen the food system across the supply chain, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced details of its Food System Transformation Framework.

More options, increased access, and improved markets are just some of the USDA's goals for transforming our food system. The framework addresses the need for more capacity to gather, process, move, and store food. Increasing local/geographic capacity will help build resiliency in the face of market disruptions, provide more choices for producers to create value-added products and sell locally, and support new economic opportunities and job creation in rural communities.

In addressing supply chain challenges, the USDA announced plans to invest in:

  • Independently owned food processing, distribution and aggregation infrastructure, and other projects along the middle of the supply chain
  • A robust technical assistance network to support supply chain development
  • The development of a pipeline of well-trained workers and safe workplaces
  • Food safety certification and specialty crop programs
  • The creation of regional food business centers to provide coordination, technical assistance, and capacity-building support
  • Food loss and waste prevention

The USDA framework also invests in a food system that creates more and better market options to ensure access to fresh, nutritious food by:

  • Removing barriers to entry for new farmers
  • Increasing opportunities for farmers to process and sell locally
  • Providing support for transition to organic production
  • Supporting urban agriculture
  • Increasing commodity purchase through farm-to-school programs
  • Expanding access and funding to programs that help consumers access healthy foods.

From workforce issues to investments in supply chain and infrastructure, our AssuredPartners Agribusiness team understands your challenges. Let’s connect to talk about your business and how we can help. 

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