SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is seeking public comments on priorities being developed for the new Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program.
In recent years we have seen that external events (such as COVID and shipping delays) resulted in disruptions to the food supply chain. This program will assist states in building resilience in the middle of the supply-chain – processing and transportation to a warehouse or distribution center. The program will also strengthen local and regional food systems by creating new revenue streams for producers.
To enable this, CDFA, in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture, will administer a competitive solicitation to award grants to support infrastructure in the middle-of-the-supply-chain for domestic food and farm businesses and other eligible entities.
This program will support food system crops and products meant for human consumption, excluding meat and poultry products because they are funded through other programs. Eligible projects will achieve one or more of the following:
– Expand capacity for processing, aggregation and distribution of agricultural products to improve markets for producers;
– Modernize manufacturing, tracking, storage, and information-technology systems;
– Enhance worker safety through adoption of new technologies or investment in equipment or facility improvements;
– Improve the capacity of entities to comply with federal, state, and local food safety requirements;
– Improve operations through training opportunities;
– Support construction of a new facility;
– Modernize or expand an existing facility (including expansion and modifications to existing buildings and/or construction of new buildings at existing facilities);
– Construction of wastewater management structures;
– Modernize processing and manufacturing equipment; and
– Develop, customize, or install equipment that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, increases efficiency in water use, improves air and/or water quality, and/or meets one or more of USDA’s climate action goals.
By drafting program priorities, CDFA will strive to clearly define the current needs of California’s agricultural supply chain and address areas that can lead to a more resilient food system. The priorities will inform a state plan which will be submitted to USDA and will ultimately help guide prospective applicants to submit projects that address the most relevant issues affecting the industry.
To ensure effective program priorities, CDFA is asking for public comments and suggestions. Please visit the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure webpage to review the proposed program priorities. All interested parties may submit comments to email@example.com beginning July 14, 2023 through August 3, 2023 at 5 p.m. PT. The input received will be reviewed and utilized to inform the state plan priorities that are submitted to USDA.
Public Listening sessions will be held July 25, 2023 through August 3, 2023. For a full schedule and to register for a listening session, please visit the program website.
–California Department of Food and Agriculture