In a move described as "unprecedented" by news sources, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has initiated milk and beef buyback programs—in large part to alleviate oversupply caused by trade tensions and tariffs.
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today 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)…with the purpose to encourage the continued domestic consumption of these products by diverting them from the normal channels of trade and commerce,” the USDA noted in an announcement entitled “USDA Fresh Fluid Milk Purchase Program Announced.”
In a separate announcement, the USDA announced plans to purchase beef products and “chicken products (to include whole bagged chicken, consumer split breast, and dark meat parts)” for “distribution to various food nutrition assistance programs.”
The milk buyback is, according to ABC News’ report, the first time that the USDA has purchased liquid milk and is “not related to the emergency assistance for farmers linked to President Donald Trump's tariff proposals.”
The USDA expects to spend $50 million to buoy flagging liquid milk suppliers and $60 million on chicken products.
“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.”
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