Important Coronavirus Updates from IDFA: Please Remain Vigilant

IDFA

Dear Dairy Community,
I hope that everyone had an enjoyable, relaxing holiday weekend. My thoughts were with our nation’s veterans, their families, and the sacrifices they made on behalf of our nation. The IDFA family is forever grateful to our veterans.
My thoughts were also with all of you across the dairy industry. As the weather gets warmer and states begin to relax safeguards and restrictions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, I encourage you all to remain vigilant and to follow government guidance for your own personal health and safety. Furthermore, for those of you responsible for the health and safety of employees and workplaces, please continue to follow the protocols, best practices and guidance provided by trusted government and industry sources. We must continue to implement, implement, implement to safeguard our industry. You all are doing an outstanding job through a very challenging, difficult situation. I cannot express enough appreciation for your responsiveness, accountability and professionalism during this crisis. Please keep it up. Please visit www.idfa.org/coronavirus to access the most up-to-date resources and information.
Here are some of the important updates from the previous week:
IDFA Achieves Temporary Flexibility from FDA Regarding Certain Labeling Requirements for Foods: IDFA has worked with the FDA, along with the Food & Beverage Issue Alliance (FBIA), to request temporary flexibility with labeling ingredients that are omitted or substituted due to lack of supply due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. We are pleased to announce that on Friday, FDA provided guidance that addresses many of the ingredient supply issues that IDFA members told us were occurring for the dairy industry. FDA’s Temporary Policy Regarding Certain Food Labeling Requirements can be accessed at this link. The guidance provides ingredient labeling details for minor formulation changes and includes specific examples of what would be allowed and what would be outside of the scope of the policy.
Sign-up for USDA CFAP Direct Payments to Dairy Producers Starts Today: Curious to know more details about direct payments to producers, including dairy farmers, under USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)? CFAP is meant to provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and $3 billion for USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program. Dairy farmers are eligible to apply for payments today. Sign-up for the program happens on www.farmers.gov/cfap. Please read the blog by Michael Dykes to learn more.
USDA Offers Webinar to Learn More about Rural Development Business & Industry Loan Guarantee Program: This USDA program offers loan guarantees to rural businesses and agricultural producers that are not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans. Loans may be used only to support rural businesses in rural areas (population less than 50,000 people) including agricultural producers, that were in operation on Feb. 15, 2020. To learn more about the RD Business & Industry Loan program, read the fact sheet here. For additional guidance and instruction on applying for B&I loans, attend the USDA webinars listed below:
To register for the webinar on Wednesday, May 27 at 3:30 p.m. Eastern

Register Now

To register for the webinar on Wednesday, June 3 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern

Register Now

Take Action! IDFA Members Urge Congress to Support Essential Worker Tax Relief: IDFA has developed a campaign on the new IDFA Campaign Center to make it easy to show your support for essential worker tax relief legislation. By clicking on the link below, you can visit our Campaign Center and easily send your members of Congress a personalized letter to support essential workers across the dairy industry. The entire process will only take two minutes! We also encourage you to share this link with your colleagues and employees to generate strong grassroots advocacy. IDFA encourages all members to help us honor the men and women working tirelessly to ensure that our food supply chain continues to operate for the benefit of all Americans. Frontline workers in the food and agriculture sector are among the designated essential critical industries that are selflessly serving the nation during this time of crisis. These essential critical workers are fighting a war against the coronavirus, and we’ve been asking that they be recognized and supported by the federal government. TAKE ACTION NOW
FDA and USDA Sign MOU on Authorities under Defense Production Act: FDA and USDA have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that outlines responsibilities and emergency authorities under the Defense Production Act. The MOU established a process outlining the circumstances in which USDA could exercise its authority under the DPA by collaborating with the FDA over FDA-regulated manufacturers and operators, over certain FDA-regulated entities, including dairy facilities. Although they hope the DPA authority will not need to be invoked, this MOU is an important part of the federal government’s preparedness efforts to make sure there are processes in place to protect the food supply and prevent significant food shortages during the COVID-19 public health emergency. IDFA is in close contact with USDA and FDA. Read the MOU. Read the FDA statement on the MOU.
CDC Releases Detailed Guidelines for Reopening Businesses, Restaurants, Schools, Etc.: As businesses and other organizations gradually open after the COVID-19-related slowdown, they will need to consider a variety of measures for keeping people safe. These considerations include practices for scaling up operations, safety actions (e.g., cleaning and disinfection, social distancing), monitoring possible reemergence of illness, and maintaining health operations. Interim guidance for helping establishments with these steps is provided in this document. Review CDC guidance, Appendix F.
Visit the IDFA Events Calendar to sign up for webinars and training: https://www.idfa.org/events.
Michael Dykes, D.V.M.
President & CEO
International Dairy Foods Association

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