February 23, 2023
US invests US$59 million to increase independent meat and poultry processing capacity
Tom Vilsack, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary, has announced that the US government will invest US$59 million to increase independent meat and poultry processing capacity, expand market opportunities for farmers, and create jobs in rural areas, USDA reported.
The grant will be allocated to five independent processors through the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP). The funding will be used to build new processing facilities, generate hundreds of jobs, increase the options available to local producers and business owners, and provide consumers with more options at the grocery store.
The recipients of the grant include Shenandoah Valley Organic LLC in Virginia state to expand its organic chicken processing facility, Riverbend Meats LLC in Idaho state to help build an environmentally friendly beef processing plant, and CNF Enterprises LLC in South Dakota to build a 30,000-square-foot processing facility to process 4,000 head per year, including beef, pork, lamb and buffalo.
The investments support the country's “Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain", which allocates funds to increase the capacity of independent meat processing. US President Joe Biden said creating fairer markets and opportunities for family farmers contributes to lower prices at grocery stores.
Vilsack said US farmers and ranchers have been asked to produce more meat to meet rising demand domestically and around the world, but they struggle to see their fair share of the benefits.
He said the US government and the USDA are moving forward with a sustainable vision of agriculture that puts the needs of US farmers and small businesses, fortifies the country's food supply chain, and restores value to rural communities and people.
- US Department of Agriculture