Multiple industry groups have submitted feedback on how to enhance the resiliency of America’s food supply chain. The recommendations have been presented in response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) request for comment. Agricultural organizations have comments on how to move forward with the Supply Chains for the Production of Agricultural Commodities and Food Products notice.
“We’re grateful USDA opened this conversation on how we can continue to build up our food supply system,” National Association of State Departments of Agriculture CEO Dr. Barb Glenn said in a news release. “Our state agriculture department leaders managed to overcome remarkable supply and demand obstacles during the COVID-19 pandemic, and through it, they earned new perspectives on what federal resources support farmers and communities best, and where our food system still remains vulnerable to new disruptions.”
The comment period was made possible through President Joe Biden’s Executive Order 14017 America’s Supply Chains. The order underscores the need for improving resiliency in the U.S. food supply, particularly in light of the issues that were exacerbated by the pandemic. Information gathered as part of the comment process will be incorporated in USDA’s final report. The effort is being undertaken as part of the comprehensive Build Back Better initiative.
The Biden Administration is charging USDA with determining methods to strengthen the food supply chain to protect the economy and national security. Several groups such as the North American Meat Institute, Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA), and National Farmers Union provided input on areas of potential improvement. Some of the recommendations made ranged from investing in critical infrastructure to resolving harmful trade disagreements.
“There is no easy fix to the supply chain disruptions facing the agriculture industry and any solutions need a multi-pronged approach,” said ARA Director of Public Policy Hunter Carpenter. “Any long-term solutions to addressing the challenges we face in supply chain disruptions will only be found through the continued partnership between the agricultural retailer, their farmer customers, and regulating authorities.”