According to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, a priority for the USDA is creating local and regional food systems.
“So those small and medium sized producers get a market that’s local. Small medium size producers get price discovery that allows them to accurately understand and appreciate the value of whatever it is they’re growing a raising,” Vilsack recently made those comments during the Wall Street Journal’s Global Food Forum. “And then small producers and medium size producers don’t necessarily have to tow the line of a small handful of processing facilities and companies but basically have choice, have opportunity, have competition.]
So expanding processing capacity, Vilsack added “provides an option for farmers and ranchers provides greater information concerning cash sales which in turn creates better price discovery.”
The main goal is to make the system more resilient.
“It is incredibly efficient now. And we’ve benefited from efficiency no question in terms of the cost of food at the grocery store. However, there is a price to be paid when you’re as efficient as we are. And that is when there’s a national disruption like we experienced with COVID and it basically creates shortages, it creates chaos, it creates difficulty.”
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