The American Association of Meat Processors announced its support for H.R. 8431 and S.5066, Strengthening Local Processing Act, legislation that provides many of the critical items to help small processors improve and grow their businesses.
The Strengthening Local Processing Act provides small plants with the funds needed to grow and expand and supports a scale-appropriate approach to small scale slaughter and processing.
“This Act will be a game-changer for small processors,” said Executive Director Chris Young. “The events of 2020 and the response of small processors have highlighted the need to increase capacity in our industry and to provide help to processors who are vital to their local communities.”
The Act includes:
- FSIS to develop a searchable database of model HACCP plans and supporting documentation to be used by small processors.
- Expanding funds are given to support state meat inspection programs.
- Expanding FSIS outreach to states to expand the Cooperative Interstate Shipping Program.
- Small processor GRANT Program – making up to $25 million a year available to small processors for expansion and improvement of their businesses. Processors would be able to receive between $100,000 – $500,000. This would be available for all processors, federally inspected, state inspected, and exempt plants.
- Training, education, and technical assistance – $10 million a year available for training.
The association has called upon its members and industry affiliates to contact their local U.S. representatives and senators and ask them to support the bill. “I don’t know of a time when we have had legislation that was so favorable for small processors,” Young added. “We ask that all small processors help get the word out on the bill and let Congress know how much this is needed.”