The US-based Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) is calling on its members to endorse the PLANT Act, a “groundbreaking” piece of legislation being introduced to Congress this week by Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA.)
“The United States leads the world in plant-based innovation and growth, but other countries are currently making big investments in their plant-based sectors”
According to the PBFA, the initiatives put forth in the PLANT Act will have the power to shape the future growth of the US plant-based foods industry, and the group is asking for “critical” support to help build momentum behind it.
The Peas, Legumes and Nuts Today (PLANT) Act of 2023 is designed to increase expand consumer choice and increase America’s competitiveness in the fast-growing plant-based foods sector. Among its requests, the Act seeks to expand opportunities for farmers who produce plant-based ingredients, increase support for food companies, and provide more support for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA’s) efforts to export plant-based foods.
Specific initiatives include:
- Increasing USDA incentives for farmers producing ingredients in plant-based foods, such as pulses and mushrooms.
- Updating the USDA’s Market Access Program to encourage exports of plant-based foods.
- Creating a new plant-based protein research program (within the USDA’s high-priority research and extension initiatives) to improve the functionality and flavor of key plant protein ingredients.
- Clarifying that existing USDA loan programs include the expansion or building of plant-based food processing facilities.
- Creating an Office of Plant-Based Food Options and Innovative Production within USDA, modeled after existing offices, to provide competitive grants to farmers, companies, and researchers, and to help new and beginning farmers.
PBFA states that it strongly supports the bill and is inviting its 350+ members to add their voice by signing on to endorse the bill. The group asks that the endorsement form be completed before July 27th, after which endorsers will be collected on a rolling basis.
“The United States leads the world in plant-based innovation and growth, but other countries are currently making big investments in their plant-based sectors,” states the PBFA. “The PLANT Act ensures that the USDA supports our farmers and food companies, which will create new jobs in our rural communities and ensure the US’s competitiveness on an international stage.”protein plant-based plant based industry