USDA works to support food supply chains with support from Representative Spanberger

GORDONSVILLE, Va. (WVIR) – Supply chain issues are supporting meat processors and the wait is going to be long. Piedmont Processing in Gordonsville is booked until March, but an announcement from the USDA could help release that wait.

“The pandemic has exposed vulnerability, it has created extreme disruption in the US food supply chain,” said Under Secretary of Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small.

“I remember heartbreaking phone calls with local ranchers and ranchers in the early days of the pandemic, who suffered heavy losses and were forced to slaughter animals because they couldn’t be processed in a timely manner, ”said Rep. Abigail Spanberger. .

USDA pump $ 100 million in the food supply chain secured loan program. Thus, nearly a billion dollars will be available in loan guarantees.

“What this loan program does is it removes that risk from the lending institution. They’re not the ones who are wondering now, you know, how risky it can be or not, because it is. Ultimately it’s the USDA that says we support these growers because we think spot treatment is important, ”said Rep. Spanberger.

This loan will allow Piedmont Processing in Gordonsville to expand.

“One of the cool things about this funding and these grants available is just to improve our automation on some equipment, given the redundancy of our equipment, we removed some of our small business exposures,” said Bill Renaud by Piedmont Processing.

At present, it operates on a small scale.

“The capacity of the cold rooms is really what decides what we can have on site, but increasing that capacity is nothing more than money,” said Renaud.

While watching the process can be difficult for salad lovers to see. “We need the product around the world and across our country, and one thing to remember is that thanks to COVID and when the pandemic hit, it opened many people’s eyes to where the beef and pork really came from. when you buy from the store, ”Renaud said.

Piedmont Processing plans to apply for the loan as soon as possible. Funds are available now through the American Rescue Plan.

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