For the first time, under authority of Section 32 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act Amendment of 1935, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will purchase up to $20 million of fresh mandarins and tangerines for distribution to food banks, schools and other non-conventional markets.
USDA also announced that it will purchase up to $20 million in oranges and $10 million in grapefruit as well.
In response to USDA’s announcement, California Citrus Mutual President Casey Creamer made the following statement, “Section 32 is an important procurement program that supports America’s farmers and provides domestic products to communities and schools. Twenty years ago, mandarins trailed all varieties of fresh citrus in per capita U.S. consumption. By 2025, however, it is anticipated that mandarins will overtake oranges as the most-consumed fresh citrus in the U.S.”
“USDA’s domestic nutrition programs should reflect this significant shift in citrus consumption by ensuring mandarins are made available to schools and food banks. This Section 32 purchase is an excellent first step to introducing mandarins to other procurement and food distribution programs in the future. California Citrus Mutual applauds the USDA Agriculture Marketing Service for their efforts to bring American grown mandarins and other citrus products to all consumers.”
The purpose of Section 32 is to encourage domestic consumption of U.S. food products by diverting them from conventional market channels. Information about the purchases, including the official solicitations and procurement specifications, is posted on the Agricultural Marketing Service’s website at www.ams.usda.gov/selling-food.
About California Citrus Mutual (CCM)
CCM is a voluntary, non-profit trade association representing California citrus growers on the economic, regulatory, and political issues that impact them most.