August 19, 2020 Press Release Washington, DC—Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) applauded the United States Department of Agriculture’s decision to purchase $40 million of U.S.-grown almonds to support America’s almond growers as they grapple with the impact COVID-19 has had on their industry. This decision follows a letter from Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) to the United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue advocating for the United States Department of Agriculture’s support for California’s almond industry through a direct purchase program as it grapples with the effects of COVID-19.
“California’s almond industry was already facing hardship from retaliatory tariffs prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has made a hard year even harder for California’s almond growers, and the federal government must take action to help them weather this storm,” Garamendi said.
“Since the onset of COVID-19 almond raw bulk market prices have drastically declined, and the industry anticipates a 36% reduction in farm gate value, according to the Almond Alliance of California. Almonds are a top-three commodity in California, contributing approximately 104,000 jobs and more than $11 billion to the state’s economy,” Garamendi continued.
“As our nation toils with a once-in-a-century global pandemic there is an even greater need to ensure our nation’s food supply is strong. California’s food banks have seen a 73% increase in demand due to COVID-19, and demand is expected to remain high in the coming years. I’m pleased that USDA has approved the request a bipartisan coalition of my California colleagues and I made to directly purchase U.S.-grown almonds. This decision will help California’s almond growers weather this storm and ensure this nutritious product will continue to feed Americans during these turbulent times” Garamendi concluded.
A copy of Garamendi’s letter to Secretary Perdue can be viewed here.