USDA boosts pork industry with food assistance purchases

USAgNet - 01/09/2024

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a supplemental pork purchase for federal food assistance programs, a vital step under Section 32 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1935.

This decision stems from the USDA's yearly commitment to buy pork and other commodities to support domestic consumption and aid federal nutrition programs like school breakfast and lunch initiatives.

The USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will facilitate these purchases, focusing on pork loin roasts, hams, and pork patties. This action is particularly crucial given the challenging market conditions faced by the U.S. pork industry, which saw losses averaging $30 per pig in 2023, sometimes soaring to $40-$60 per head.

This strategic purchase by USDA AMS under Section 32 is set to bolster the hog and wholesale pork markets significantly. It also ensures the provision of affordable, nutritious pork products for USDA recipient programs, thereby enhancing the quality of food assistance offered.

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has expressed strong support for this initiative. It recognizes the USDA's effort as a much-needed lifeline for U.S. pork producers, ensuring sustainability in these tough times. NPPC's ongoing collaboration with the USDA aims to identify further opportunities to support the pork industry.


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