Washington, D.C. (June 27, 2018)–The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) today applauded the inclusion of an amendment in the Senate farm bill that would reiterate congressional intent that school food purchases using taxpayer dollars should adhere to the Buy American provisions. The amendment was offered by Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and included in the substitute amendment to the legislation.
“The last several years has seen a marked increase in the amount of foreign-produced food served in schools when comparable American-grown products are readily available and competitively priced, something that contrary to the intent of the Buy American provisions in the school lunch and school breakfast programs,” said Chuck Conner, president and CEO of NCFC. “This amendment gives Congress the chance to once again emphasize that these important provisions were included in the programs for a reason and should not be ignored.”
“I would like to thank Senators Smith, Sullivan and Donnelly for their leadership on this issue,” continued Conner. “I would like to recognize Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow for their efforts to ensure that the amendment was included in the substitute amendment to the farm bill.”
Since 1929, NCFC has been the voice of America’s farmer cooperatives. Our members are regional and national farmer cooperatives, which are in turn composed of nearly 3,000 local farmer cooperatives across the country. NCFC members also include 26 state and regional councils of cooperatives. Farmer cooperatives allow individual farmers the ability to own and lead organizations that are essential for continued competitiveness in both the domestic and international markets.
America’s farmer-owned cooperatives provide a comprehensive array of services for their members. These diverse organizations handle, process and market virtually every type of agricultural commodity. They also provide farmers with access to infrastructure necessary to manufacture, distribute and sell a variety of farm inputs. Additionally, they provide credit and related financial services, including export financing.