The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) is calling on the US administration to lay out a strategy to ensure the continued operation of the nation’s ‘critical industries’ including food and agriculture, amid the current Covid-19 situation.
The call follows talks with the EU and Canada about the impact of the coronavirus to their own dairy industries.
Through collaborations with many other food industry trade groups, the IDFA aims to bring issues concerning workforce, supply chains, transportation, borders and manufacturing to the administration for action and consideration.
Within its concerns, the groups have called for decisions to be made regarding the safety and availability of the US workforce including the continued access to food production and distribution facilities.
Other concerns include the continuity of waste management services, ensuring transportation routes remain open so they are functional for imports and exports, as well as providing a viable market or market alternative for the nation’s dairy products.
IDFA also highlights the need to ensure border inspection facilities prioritise entry of foodstuffs and that food production facilities have access to inputs including access of inspectors and government officials that are essential to the production or movement of food.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a statement about its commitment to maintain continued access to food.
Dr Mindy Brashears, Deputy Undersecretary for food safety, and Greg Ibach, Undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs, of USDA said: “It is more important than ever that we assure the American public that government and industry will take all steps necessary to ensure continued access to safe and wholesome USDA-inspected products.
“As we come together as a country to address this public health threat, know that USDA remains committed to working closely with industry to fulfil our mission of ensuring the safety of the US food supply and protecting agricultural health.”
By Emma Upshall
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