April 16, 2020

Panetta Sends Letter to USDA Urging Relief for Specialty Crop Growers

Earlier this week, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) and three House colleagues sent a letter to Secretary Sonny Perdue calling on USDA to initially target relief efforts toward growers facing severe financial distress, such as specialty crop growers who count on a majority of their business supplying foodservice outlets.

The letter states, “We strongly urge your initial support to be focused on those growers currently facing significant hardship and consider the impact of the current outbreak on demand and prices for a number of these agriculture commodities. “

As USDA develops the structure of its support for growers, the letter notes, “it is imperative that consideration be given to the historical production of key commodities and that your support programs take into consideration these immediate cuts in contract purchases that cause the harshest market impact. The CARES Act relief should take into account these abrupt market changes caused by the government-mandated closure of foodservice and institutions.”

Click here to read the full letter.