USDA to undertake "supply chain assessment holistically" in response to Biden's executive order

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USDA to undertake

In order to improve and reimagine the supply chains for the production, processing and distribution of agricultural commodities and food products, the USDA is seeking comments on the Department-wide effort.

USDA is taking this action in response to Executive Order 14017, America's Supply Chains, signed by President Biden on Feb 24, 2021.

The comments received will help USDA assess the critical factors, risks and strategies needed to support resilient, diverse and secure supply chains in the U.S.

“We have an opportunity to take the lessons we’ve learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and apply those to transforming our nation’s food system from the inside out, including our supply chains,” Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

“USDA plans to tackle this supply chain assessment holistically – looking across a full range of risks and opportunities. [...] this top to bottom assessment will position USDA to make long-term, transformative changes for economic, national and nutritional security."

In addition to asking about the agricultural supply chain, USDA is interested in comments about how to target pandemic-related stimulus relief programs and spending toward long-term, systemic change that results in food supply chain resiliency.

Particularly input regarding things such as bolstering local and regional food systems, creating fairer and more competitive markets, and meeting the needs of the agricultural workforce among others.

These efforts are being undertaken with the goal of strengthening U.S. competitiveness with attention to farmers, ranchers, producers, food processors and other important links in the food supply chain.

This transformation hopes to achieve a fairer, more competitive, and transparent system and one that promotes and strengthens the overall health and well-being of people, our land and water, and our economy, according to the press release.

The request for comments is published here, and the period will close on May 21, 2021.

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