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- USDA Addresses Milk Dumping, Authorizes Other Flexibilities To Help Producers Amid Coronavirus Pandemic: USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) has issued a press release and posted a Manager’s Bulletin to address milk dumping and provide other flexibilities to help producers amid the coronavirus pandemic. RMA is ensuring that milk producers are not inappropriately penalized if their milk must be dumped because of recent market disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. See the USDA information here.
- IDFA and National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) Urge Immediate, Comprehensive Action from USDA: On Monday, IDFA and NMPF sent a set of recommendations to USDA urging the Administration to take swift, comprehensive action to support the U.S. dairy industry through the COVID-19 crisis. The plan outlines how the crisis is affecting the U.S. dairy industry from farm to fork and underscores the main challenge: Supply exceeds demand by at least 10% – a gap that could widen as supply increases to its seasonal peak and as “shelter in place” conditions endure. IDFA and NMPF urge USDA to use as many tools as possible – as quickly as possible – to bridge the demand gap without creating any long-term market repercussions. Read the joint IDFA-NMPF Milk plan.
- Feeding America, IDFA, NMPF Send Joint Letter to USDA: The letter, sent today, states: “Feeding America understands how critical our nation’s producers, growers, and processors are to ensuring food insecure individuals have access to nutritious food. NMPF and IDFA understand the critical role of wholesome, nutritious dairy products in helping address the dramatic increase in food insecurity across our great nation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this partnership of food banks and dairy producers and processors, and the work of USDA to provide vital dairy purchases through the Food Purchase and Distribution Program, food banks have been able to distribute large amounts of critically needed milk, cheese, and butter to communities in need. … We also urge you to support innovative partnerships that can quickly and efficiently move fluid milk and other dairy products into the food bank system as time is of the essence." Read the letter.
- Waivers for Serving Varieties of Milk in School Meals & Summer Feeding: USDA is giving states the option to request waivers for a variety of child nutrition programs so local operators can create meals with the foods they have available, including varieties of fluid milk. During the state of emergency with schools closed, schools can operate under different meal pattern rules. Schools operating under the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) rules can serve any fat level of milk, including whole and 2%, plain and flavored milk. However, schools operating under Seamless Summer Option (SSO) must request a waiver from their state agency to differ from the typical school milk options. To find the waivers or to request a waiver for your state, visit USDA FNS and click on your state.
- New CDC Guidance for Essential Workers Exposed to Coronavirus to Return to Their Jobs: CDC officials now say essential employees, including dairy processing workers, who have been within six feet of a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 can go back to work if they are not experiencing symptoms and adhere to specific protocol measures. See the CDC guidelines.
- New Food Industry Protocol for Face Covering Guidance from CDC: CDC now recommends, based on new evidence, that everyone should wear a facial covering in public settings, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. Please review the food industry's protocol for face coverings, here.
- IDFA and Coalition of 17 Food Industry Associations Request Federal Aid for Critical Food Industry Employees: Read the op-ed from Michael Dykes that appeared this week in Agri-Pulse.
- UPDATED What to Do When an Employee Tests Positive: The following document shares a recommended protocol for the food industry to use when an employee or visitor tests positive or comes into close contact with someone with COVID-19. This protocol has been reviewed by the FDA. Review the protocol here.
- Essential Worker Tribute Video from IDFA: Throughout our nation, millions of dairy and food industry workers are going above and beyond to ensure our food supply remains safe, secure and plentiful. IDFA’s #Essential Campaign highlights the men and women working tirelessly through the coronavirus outbreak to provide Americans and the world with fresh, safe, nutritious dairy products.
- IDFA Fights for Dairy During COVID-19: Learn more about how IDFA has been hard at work in Washington advocating for our members and the industry. This short video demonstrates how we are uniting as an association to secure strong federal policy in the wake of the crisis.
Michael Dykes, D.V.M.
President & CEO
International Dairy Foods Association
Making a Difference for Dairy