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USDA to Purchase Pork and Turkey to Aid Sectors

by 5m Editor
1 April 2009, at 11:09am

US - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack yesterday announced USDA's intention to purchase turkey, pork, lamb, and walnut products for federal food nutrition assistance programmes.

"These purchases will assist the turkey, pork, lamb and walnut sectors, which are currently struggling due to depressed market conditions," said Secretary Vilsack. "Today's announcement will help mitigate further downward prices, stabilise market conditions, stimulate the economy, and provide high quality, nutritious food to recipients of our nutrition programs."

USDA intends to purchase $60 million of turkey, $25 million of pork, $2 million of lamb, and $29.7 million of walnuts. With today's announcement to buy commodities, USDA will survey potential suppliers to seeking the lowest overall cost by publicly inviting bids and awarding contracts to responsible bidders.

These purchases reflect a variety of high-quality food products each year to support the National School Lunch Programme, the School Breakfast Programme, the Summer Food Service Programme, the Food Distribution Programme on Indian Reservations, the Commodity Supplemental Food Programme and The Emergency Food Assistance Programme. USDA also makes emergency food purchases for distribution to victims of natural disasters.

Government food experts work to ensure that all purchased food is healthy and nutritious. Food items are normally required to be low in fat, sugar and sodium. The commodities must meet specified grade requirements and be USDA-certified to ensure quality. USDA only purchases products that are grown in America.