WASHINGTON — Editor’s note: The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced it will purchase fluid milk for distribution under The Emergency Food Assistance Program. The following notices from the USDA AMS, National Milk Producers Federation, Dairy Farmers of America and International Dairy Foods Association delve into more details about the program and provide reactions from the dairy industry.
USDA Fresh Fluid Milk Purchase Program Announced
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced plans to purchase Fluid Milk (whole, 2 percent, 1 percent, and skim) in half gallons for distribution to The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). Purchases will be made under the authority of Section 32 of the Act of August 24, 1935, with the purpose to encourage the continued domestic consumption of these products by diverting them from the normal channels of trade and commerce. These purchases are part of the normal operations of administering Section 32 and are not related or associated with the authority or administration of possible purchases under Section 5 of the Commodity Credit Corporation related to trade mitigation.
Solicitations will be issued in the near future, and will be available electronically through the Web-Based Supply Chain Management (WBSCM) system. A hard copy of the solicitation will not be available. Public WBSCM information is available without an account on the WBSCM Public Procurement Page. All future information regarding this acquisition, including solicitation amendments and award notices, will be published through WBSCM, and on the Agricultural Marketing Service’s website at www.ams.usda.gov/selling-food. Interested parties shall be responsible for ensuring that they have the most up-to-date information about this acquisition. The contract type is anticipated to be firm-fixed price. Deliveries are expected to be to various locations in the United States on an FOB destination basis.
Pursuant to Agricultural Acquisition Regulation 470.103(b), commodities and the products of agricultural commodities acquired under this contract must be a product of the United States, and shall be considered to be such a product if it is grown, processed, and otherwise prepared for sale or distribution exclusively in the United States. Packaging and container components under this acquisition will be the only portion subject to the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement and Free Trade Agreements, as addressed by FAR clause 52.225-5.
Offerors are urged to review all documents as they pertain to this program, including the latest—
- AMS Master Solicitation for Commodity Procurements (MSCP), April 12, 2017;
- Applicable commodity specification(s) identified in the subsequent solicitation(s); and
- Qualification Requirements for Prospective Contractors Selling Commodities to USDA, March 1, 2017.
These documents are available on the AMS Commodity Procurement website.
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NMPF Welcomes USDA’s $50 Million Milk Purchase for Needy Americans
The National Milk Producers Federation welcomed the announcement today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that it will purchase $50 million worth of fluid milk for distribution to domestic food assistance programs – the first time the agency has bought milk for use in this manner.
The USDA said Tuesday that it will authorize the expenditure of $50 million in Section 32 funds to purchase a range of consumer-friendly milk varieties, including whole, 2 percent, 1 percent and skim. The agency will purchase the milk from approved vendors, and distribute the product – an estimated 12-15 million gallons, depending on the prices agreed to by USDA and its suppliers – to food assistance organizations such as Feeding America. The USDA will be offering informational webinars to dairy companies that wish to sell milk to the agency through this donation program.
“We are pleased that USDA is now including fluid milk in the assortment of foods it is buying and donating, as milk is in high demand at food banks because of its unparalleled nutritional benefits,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “This effort will help more Americans meet their U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommended daily consumption of milk. We appreciate this initial step and look forward to working with the department to continue building upon this effort.”
The Agriculture Department noted that this purchase is a separate action from the unfair trade practice mitigation program – announced July 24 by the agency – that will provide financial assistance to agricultural producers through a combination of product purchases, direct payments and trade promotion programs. The USDA has yet to release any details about that effort, but the $12 billion budget for that assistance, coming from Section 5 of USDA’s spending authority, is distinct from the Section 32 funds being used for this new milk purchase program.
“NMPF has been sharing information with USDA about the best way to maximize the value of the farmer assistance program that will be implemented soon, and we are hopeful that the agency moves quickly to get resources in the hands of dairy farmers this fall,” Mulhern said.
DFA Commends USDA’s Announcement to Purchase $50 Million Worth of Milk for Food Banks
Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), a global dairy food cooperative owned by family dairy farmers, applauds the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) recent announcement to purchase $50 million worth of fluid milk for distribution to food assistance programs.
“Hunger and poor nutrition are serious issues in this country, and we support USDA in helping to provide nutrient-rich milk for those in need,” says John Wilson, senior vice president and chief fluid marketing officer, Dairy Farmers of America.
USDA will authorize up to $50 million of Section 32 funds to purchase a range of consumer-friendly milk varieties, including whole, two percent, one percent and skim. The agency will purchase the milk from approved vendors, and distribute the product, which is estimated to be about 12-15 million gallons, depending on the prices agreed to by USDA and its suppliers, to food assistance programs.
Wilson adds, “This purchase will offer a great benefit for those that struggle with hunger and malnutrition today. We appreciate USDA acknowledging the important part milk plays in a healthy diet and partnering with the dairy industry in getting milk to those in need across the country.”
USDA has been a great partner to U.S. agriculture and those individuals struggling with food insecurity – helping ensure a safe, reliable food supply and promoting the Dietary Guidelines, which highlight healthy eating habits and the daily consumption of dairy.
USDA Purchases Milk to Help Combat Hunger
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it will purchase, for the first time ever, $50 million in pasteurized fluid milk to benefit Americans in need who do not have regular access to milk. The milk will be distributed through food assistance programs and food banks, such as those under Feeding America – the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization. The USDA is expected to purchase between 12-15 million gallons of fat-free, low-fat (1 percent), reduced-fat (2 percent) and whole milk as part of this nationwide initiative. According to the department, today’s announcement is not part of the funding allocated to support farmers and producers negatively impacted by unfair trade practices.
“As many as 41 million Americans, including nearly 13 million children, face hunger daily and are at risk of missing out on essential nutrients when they don’t have access to milk,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) president and CEO. “Simply having more milk available for those in need can make a positive impact on public health.”
According to Feeding America, the monetary “meal gap,” or the resources to purchase enough food to meet the needs of those who face hunger, is $21 billion a year. And while consumers are generous with canned foods and dry goods, food banks only provide the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person, per year.
“Milk is one of the most requested nutrition staples at food banks, yet it is rarely available,” said Julia Kadison, chief executive officer at MilkPEP. “And as one out of two kids ages 9 and up are falling short on calcium, vitamin D and potassium – essential nutrients that milk provides – there is an even greater need to make sure milk is getting to children and families who need it most.”
HOW IT WORKS
Since 1935, the USDA has directly purchased farm goods (under Section 32 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act Amendment) to encourage consumption of domestic agricultural products. Working with states to determine need, the department will work with states through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) to provide the milk to programs and charities that assist struggling families. USDA’s official announcement can be found here.
As only USDA-approved vendors can participate, both IDFA and MilkPEP strongly encourage interested fluid milk processors to apply as soon as possible. More information on how to become an approved vendor can be found here:
If fluid milk processors are interested in becoming approved vendors, it is critical to apply now as the approval process can take several weeks. Potential new vendors can contact the USDA for questions at NewVendor@ams.usda.gov. Milk processors can contact IDFA and MilkPEP directly for more information.
MAKING AN IMPACT
“This purchase addresses one of our country’s significant challenges – hunger – and, at the same time, will have a positive impact on the dairy industry at a time of significant market uncertainty,” added Dykes. “The nation’s milk processors welcome the opportunity to provide nutritious milk, rich in calcium, vitamin D and potassium, which are nutrients most often missing in kids’ diets.”
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