ANNOUNCEMENT 23 Aug 2016
A 1935 law authorizes the U.S. government to support commodity prices by purchasing surplus goods.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
On August 23, 2016 the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced plans to purchase approximately 11 million pounds of cheese from private inventories, valued at $20 million. The cheese will then be provided to families in need across the country through nutrition assistance programs. Section 32 of the Agriculture Act of 1935 authorizes USDA to utilize fiscal year 2016 funds to purchase surplus food to benefit food banks and families in need through its nutrition assistance programs.
In announcing this purchase, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack acknowledged “that the nation's dairy producers are experiencing challenges due to market conditions,” and characterized the commodity purchase as “part of a robust, comprehensive safety net that will help reduce a cheese surplus that is at a 30-year high while, at the same time, moving a high-protein food to the tables of those most in need." The department received requests for an immediate dairy purchase from Congress, the National Farmers Union, the American Farm Bureau, and the National Milk Producers Federation.