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Weekly poultry digest: NASDA lobbies to increase US poultry processing capacity

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) has voiced is support for a proposed increase to small poultry and meat processing operations across the United States.

3 September 2021, at 8:00am

Ag group comments on USDA move to increase small meat and poultry processing

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) weighed in this week with its recommendations on the Biden Administration’s $500 million plan to improve the nation’s meat and poultry processing infrastructure.

Poultry carcasses being put on a processing line
The Biden Administration earmarked $500 million to improve meat and poultry processing infrastructure

In a statement, NASDA said, “The goal of providing a safe, wholesome, abundant, and affordable supply of meat and meat food products throughout the United States is achieved, in part, through the role played by both state and federal food safety inspection programs.”

According to NASDA, support for small- to mid-size meat processors is needed across the country to boost US meat processing capacity and to increase their capability to process backlogged livestock while maintaining the stringent food safety standards.

“The US needs more meat processors,” NASDA says in its comments to USDA. “The American beef, poultry, pork, and other livestock meat sectors are not homogenous, and meat processing should reflect these dynamic industries. An enhanced meat processing system will give producers and consumers much-needed options.”

Among the group’s recommendations are investments in workforce development, efforts to address inspector shortages, facilities management support and a focus on long-term investment for the post-pandemic recovery.

Global food prices on the rise

Global food prices climbed 3.1% from July, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ food price index, which came in at 127.4 points in August—up a dramatic 32.9% from year-ago. The rebound followed two consecutive months of decline. Strong gains in sugar, vegetable oils and cereal sub-indices led the rise.