For the Week Ending October 22, 2021

October 22, 2021

TRANSPORTATION COALITION OFFERS RECOMMENDATIONS ON SUPPLY CHAIN ISSUES
The Agricultural Transportation Working Group (ATWG), of which NPPC is a member, this week offered its recommendations for addressing challenges with the agriculture supply chain. In a letter signed by 52 food and agricultural organizations sent to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the ATWG said, “supply chains are buttressed by strong transportation infrastructure and flexible policy.” The transportation coalition weighed in on a lack of available labor – the most pressing issue – proposed climate change policies that could idle cropland; the need for improvements to ports, locks and dams, roads and bridges; changes to ocean carrier and port practices; and reforms to rail and motor freight transportation. (Click here to read the ATWG letter.) U.S. freight transportation policy and infrastructure need to be strengthened “to help ensure there are many efficient ways for agricultural commodities and products to flow throughout the agricultural supply chain,” the ATWG concluded.

WEST COAST PORTS TO OPERATE ROUND THE CLOCK TO FIX SUPPLY CHAIN ISSUES
In an effort to alleviate congestion at California ports and fix nationwide supply chain issues, Gov. Gavin Newsom this week signed an executive order directing state agencies to find space for short-term storage of off-loaded goods, identify freight routes that can be temporarily exempted from vehicle weight limits and establish training and education programs for new transportation workers. The move follows last week’s White House meeting between Biden administration officials and business, port and union leaders to discuss challenges at ports across the country. The president met with the leadership from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and got commitments from them to move more goods faster by moving to 24 hours a day, seven days a week operations, including expanded gate hours. The two ports are the point of entry for 40 percent of shipping containers that come into the United States. Wednesday, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo floated the idea of using the National Guard to help with transportation and logistics needs for moving products. NPPC has been monitoring the supply chain problems and, for the past several years, pressing for improvements to the country’s ports, particularly ones on the West Coast.

NPPC’S SORENSON TALKS FOOD AND NUTRITION AT BORLAUG DIALOGUE
NPPC President Jen Sorenson today virtually participated in the Norman E. Borlaug International Dialogue, an annual conference hosted by the World Food Prize Foundation to “address cutting-edge issues related to global food security and nutrition.” This year’s conference focused on mother and child nutrition in low- and middle-income countries. During a round table discussion, Sorenson pointed out that animal protein helps prevent childhood stunting and malnutrition and that pork is a good source of macro and micronutrients and protein. In addressing efforts to expand the affordability and accessibility of foods without compromising their nutritional value and negatively affecting the environment, Sorenson said U.S. pork production can serve as a model, with its small carbon footprint, cycle of converting feed to meat and of using manure to produce feed and the ease of raising hogs, which have high birthing rates and can be raised almost anywhere in the world.

POTENTIAL PROPANE PROBLEMS SHOULD PROMPT PRODUCERS TO PLAN AHEAD
NPPC is continuing to urge pork producers to take steps now to ensure they have adequate supplies of propane this winter, with reports of near-record prices and historically low stockpiles of the gas. NPPC is working with the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) to monitor supplies, which are adequate but may be less plentiful in the Midwest, according to NPGA. Should producers experience propane issues, they are encouraged to communicate with NPPC staff about them. (For more information, visit propane.com/agriculture.)

AGRICULTURE GROUPS URGE LAWMAKERS TO CONFIRM TREVINO FOR USTR POST
NPPC joined 169 agricultural and food groups in asking the Senate Finance Committee to quickly confirm Elaine Trevino as the chief agricultural negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. In a letter sent late last week to committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID), the organizations said Trevino “has the experience and expertise to secure greater market access for U.S. products and ensure enforcement of clear and fair rules with our trade partners so U.S. food and agriculture workers and our industry sectors may fairly compete in the global economy.” Trevino, who is president of the Almond Alliance of California and formerly served as a deputy secretary at the California Department of Food and Agriculture under governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gray Davis, was nominated by President Biden last month.

PORK INDUSTRY SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS NOW BEING ACCEPTED
NPPC now is accepting applications for the 2022 Lois Britt Memorial Pork Industry Scholarship, which is sponsored by CME Group and managed and administered by NPPC. The program, introduced in 1990 by CME Group and NPPC and named in 2006 in honor of the late-NPPC board member Lois Britt, awards 10 $2,500 scholarships annually to college students who intend to pursue a career in the pork industry, with hopes they will become pork industry leaders. All entries must be sent by Jan. 3, 2022, to be accepted. (Click here for more information, including where to submit applications.)