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Jan 26, 2022
USDA announces Agriculture Outlook Forum and new resources

USDA’s 98th Annual Agricultural Outlook Forum
February 24 – 25, 2022

The USDA will hold its 98th annual Agricultural Outlook Forum (AOF), themed “New Paths to Sustainability and Productivity Growth.” The 2022 forum will feature a keynote address by the Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, a presentation on the 2022 agricultural economy by USDA’s Chief Economist Seth Meyer, a panel of distinguished guest speakers, and 30 breakout sessions organized by agencies across USDA and covering a range of timely issues impacting agriculture. More than one hundred government, industry, and academic leaders will share their perspectives and insights on a wide array of topics, many related to food loss and waste (FLW). Some of these FLW topics include building resilient food systems, food labeling, and technology to reduce food insecurity. Other topics will cover commodity and food price outlooks, U.S. and global agricultural trade developments, climate change, and innovations in agricultural production and sustainability. Registration to the Agricultural Outlook Forum is free, but registration is required. Register today and discover more about the AOF program.

New blog on food waste and climate change

USDA’s Food Loss and Waste Liaison, Jean Buzby, highlights the connections between food loss and waste, climate change, and agriculture and supply chain resiliency. Buzby also summarizes and references a 2021 report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on the environmental impacts of food waste. Read the blog and access the report.

USDA announces new Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program

USDA Rural Development (RD) announces the Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program. The Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program is a part of USDA’s Build Back Better initiative to strengthen critical supply chains and our food system. This program guarantees loans of up to $40 million for qualified lenders (banks, credit unions, community development financial institution, loan funds, and others) to finance food systems projects, specifically for the start-up or expansion of activities in the middle of the food supply chain. The program will support new investments in infrastructure for food aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storage, transportation, wholesaling, and distribution to increase capacity and create a more resilient, diverse, and secure U.S. food supply chain. For example, proposals could be for added refrigerated storage in food banks and pantries. Learn more about RD’s Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program.

EPA calls for research on reducing consumer food waste
Application Deadline: February 9, 2022

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking applications proposing research to develop, apply, and test innovative and creative community-engaged approaches to reduce household food waste in the United States. Food waste reductions, if substantial, could significantly contribute to the prevention and reduction of air, water, and land pollution and help combat climate change. Projects submitted under this request for applications (RFA) should build upon existing research where available and include partnerships with state, local, community, or private sector entities where possible. Research should examine how the food waste reduction strategies or methods could be implemented effectively on community and larger scales. Find out more about this funding opportunity and EPA Research Grants.

EPA offers tools for anaerobic digestion projects

The U.S. EPA, on behalf of the Global Methane Initiative, has developed the Anaerobic Digestion (AD) Screening Tool to help stakeholders assess the technical and financial feasibility of proposed AD projects. The Excel-based tool helps users evaluate AD opportunities for a variety of feedstocks, including livestock manure, agricultural residues, food waste, and wastewater. EPA’s Biogas Toolkit helps stakeholders search for information and resources that meet their specific project needs. Take a closer look at the Anaerobic Digestion Screening Tool and the Biogas Toolkit website.

New report on food donation liability policies around the world

The Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic and the Global FoodBanking Network have released a new issue brief highlighting laws and policies from countries around the world that support greater food donation by providing liability protections. The document shares best practices designed to support food donation, reduce food waste, address hunger, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Read the brief, Promoting Food Donation: Liability Protection Law and Policy.


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