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On Tuesday, June 8, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced its plans to invest more than $4 billion to strengthen critical supply chains through the Build Back Better initiative. GCCA has been working with USDA and the White House to communicate the critical role of the cold chain to the food supply and how the pandemic has impacted our industry. GCCA has been working with USDA and the White House to highlight the impacts of the pandemic on the cold chain and the importance of utilizing COVID relief programs to assist the industry. GCCA is pleased that USDA has responded to our requests and highlighted food distribution and aggregation as a focal point for investment. The USDA announcement states that “food aggregation and distribution relies on people working together throughout the food system and having the right infrastructure to gather, move and hold the food where and when it is needed. This system was stressed during the pandemic due to long shipping distances and lack of investment in local and regional capacity. USDA will make investments in food system infrastructure that can remain resilient, flexible and responsive”. The announcement supports the Biden Administration’s broader work on strengthening the resilience of critical supply chains as directed by Executive Order 14017 America's Supply Chains. Funding is provided by the American Rescue Plan Act and earlier pandemic assistance such as the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. In addition to the funding, the Administration also announced a new Supply Chain Disruption Task Force. The Task Force will provide a whole of government response to address near-term supply chain challenges to the economic recovery. The Task Force will convene stakeholders to diagnose problems and surface solutions—large and small, public or private—that could help alleviate bottlenecks and supply constraints related to the economy’s reopening.
Read more about the invest HERE.
Read more about the Supply Chain Disruption Task Force HERE.