Mike Sparks, Florida Citrus Mutual executive vice president/CEO, reported that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced another round of citrus purchases totaling almost $48 million. The breakdown includes $10 million worth of orange juice, $7.5 million worth of grapefruit juice, $25 million in fresh oranges and $5 million in fresh grapefruit.
The USDA purchases will be for distribution to various food nutrition assistance programs. Purchases will be made under the authority of Section 32 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act Amendment of 1935. The purpose is to encourage the continued domestic consumption of these products by diverting them from the normal channels of trade and commerce.
“The orange juice and grapefruit juice purchases will help reduce inventories and place upward pressure on grower returns,” said Sparks. “In 2020, the USDA purchased almost $130 million in orange juice (30 million pound solids) as part of its trade mitigation and feeding programs.”
Read more about the past purchases.
The tentative schedule for the new round of purchases calls for bid specifications to be released Feb. 15, awards made on March 15 and an estimated delivery date of April 15.
“This is great news for the Florida citrus growers and furthers our strong relationship with the USDA,” said Sparks.
To be eligible to submit offers, potential contractors must meet the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) vendor qualification requirements available here. The AMS point of contact for new vendors can be reached by phone at 202-720-4237 or NewVendor@usda.gov.
More information on the USDA purchase can be found here.
Sources: Florida Citrus Mutual and USDA