USHBC is a member and participant in the American Commodity Distribution Association (ACDA). The organization will meet in Minneapolis, April 30 to May 1, 2018. USHBC FoodTech will be there. (schedule) This is an organization which brings together the key stakeholders of the $1.4 billion USDA Foods program.
Commodity Processing: According to USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) -- over half of all commodity purchases are diverted to further processing by school districts. This means instead of receiving frozen blueberries, the school can agree with a manufacturer to receive frozen blueberries and make blueberry muffins (as an example). The school can combine with other USDA Food ingredients. It is a win-win situation for processors and schools. Currently, there are 38 USDA Foods commodity items that are available for further processing and 100 processors participating in the program. Source: USDA Food and Nutrition Service Food Distribution Fact Sheet, March 2018.
Back to ACDA: USHBC FoodTech has several objectives for attending ACDA.
- Agriculture: Representatives of other commodity organizations with interest in USDA Foods will attend. Meetings with the Agricultural committee will include commodity representatives like USHBC and also USDA staffers involved in fruit and vegetable purchases. We involve, listen, learn and report back to USHBC/NABC HQ.
- Industry: this is the main reason for USHBC FoodTech participation. Industry meetings will include commodity processors which will include some of the leading food processing companies in the USA as well as medium and small companies who specialize in commodity processing. These companies are eager to learn about commodities such as blueberries.
- Government. High level government officials from USDA will attend ACDA and the main event is the government presentations which provide the very latest information on the programs. For USHBC FoodTech, we make sure that the government knows we are there and involved in the process.
- Community. These are the recipients of USDA Foods and includes school districts, humanitarian feeding organizations and others. At these meetings, we connect with users, talk blueberries, and learn of the needs and wants of the schools. We also gain knowledge of amazing case studies of successful use of commodity foods.
Will post more when back from ACDA!