Potatoes and CARES Act Pt 1

Potatoes and CARES Act Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I’m Bob Larson. The push is on from those urging Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue to provide direct support for specialty crop producers from the funds earmarked for agriculture in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES Act.

This group effort, according to National Potato Council CEO, Kam Quarles has broad support …

QUARLES … “We work in a big coalition with a number of other specialty crop groups. The main objective was to lay out, for the USDA and the Administration, the magnitude of the mounting losses facing the fruit and vegetable industry.”

Quarles says the specialty crop segment has needs in this pandemic crisis …

QUARLES … “So, we work very closely with the Northwest Horticultural Council, U.S. Apple Association and folks across the country. It’s really in multiple phases. We’re looking at substantial surplus commodity buys to try to provide some relief for producers.”

This is a situation, Quarles says, where backup funding could be critical …

QUARLES … “We’re also looking at direct payment, and also a stabilization of the PACA Trust. Because, you know, the PACA Trust is almost like an insurance policy. It’s built to deal with one or two house fires, but when an entire city burns down, the capacity to maintain solvency in that structure is really challenged. And that’s really what it’s facing.”

Quarles says when you have the entirety of the food service channel just cut off from an industry, it’s a challenge they never expected.

Listen tomorrow for more.

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