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USDA reveals food system transformation investments

The Biden administration has announced its framework to transform the country’s food system.

During an event at Georgetown University on Wednesday, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack detailed more than $2 billion in funding to improve markets.

“The transformation that needs to take place has to be comprehensive,” Vilsack said. “It has to touch on all elements of our food system: production, processing, distribution and aggregation, and market development.”

He says the plan will address longstanding issues intensified by the pandemic. “Our transformed food system will expand capacity and competition, and increase that competition in all sectors,” Vilsack said. “When it does, both producers and consumers will benefit.”

Funds will be made available through the American Rescue Plan Act and other relief legislation.

Vilsack says the goals of the plan include building a more resilient food supply chain, creating a fairer food system that combats market dominance, making nutritious food more accessible and affordable, and emphasizing equity.

Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow of Michigan says she’s pleased the USDA is implementing changes that will build a food system that is fairer for consumers.

Ranking Member John Boozman of Arkansas says there’s nothing transformative about the plan and said it is a repackaging of previously announced initiatives.

More details can be found here.

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