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Connecting Fresh Produce Importers with Charitable Institutions

Agricultural Marketing Service

Contact

Candice Spalding, Compliance and Enforcement Branch Chief, USDA, AMS, Fruit and Vegetable Program, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, 202.720.6585

Objective

Reduce food loss by connecting fresh produce importers with charitable institutions that are registered as exempted outlets to accept imported fruits/vegetables that aren’t inspected or that don’t meet certain federal marketing order requirements. Currently, approximately 3% of imported fresh produce that is subject to inspection under Section 8e of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (AMAA) (or 48,091,376 lbs.), is turned back or destroyed. This activity will help reduce the amount of wholesome food that is currently being wasted, while also helping charities get access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

Approximately 1,603,045,870 lbs. of imported fresh produce is subject to inspection under Section 8E of the AMA, which requires that the imported product must meet the same or comparable federal marketing order standards as the domestic product in order to be sold on the open market. About 48,091,376 lbs. per year (3%) is turned back or destroyed, which is the maximum amount by which food waste could be reduced through this activity.

Activity 1

Work with USDA’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships to let food banks and charities in major port cities know about the opportunity to become exempted outlets, which would allow them to accept imported fruits/vegetables that aren’t inspected or that don’t meet certain marketing order requirements. Encourage charities to sign up to become registered receivers. Update the list of exempted outlets/recipients with new registrants.

June 2013 – July 2013

Activity 2

Share the updated list of exempted outlets with AMS Fruit and Vegetable Program Specialty Crop Inspection Division (SCID) employees at major ports. Train employees to provide this information to importers who have fresh produce that is not inspected or does not meet certain marketing order requirements. (The specific fresh commodities that are inspected and available for donation under this activity are avocados, grapefruit, kiwi fruit, onions, oranges, tomatoes, and potatoes. Under Section 8e, the imported product must meet the same or comparable federal marketing order standards as the domestic product in order to be sold on the open market).  Rather than re-exporting or dumping the produce, importers would be encouraged to donate it to exempted recipient charitable organizations.

August 2013 – ongoing

Activity 3

Importers are required to complete FV-6 forms when they donate produce to exempted outlets. This will allow AMS to track the quantity of produce that is donated, so that we can accurately measure and assess how much food waste is reduced.

Quarterly reports can be collected in order to provide an accurate measure of food waste reduced.