Co-ops eligible for USDA Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program

Producer-owned co-ops are listed as potential beneficiaries of the scheme, which was welcomed by apex NCBA Clusa

Co-operative meat and poultry processors are eligible for a new round of funding announced by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on 24 August.

In partnership with the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, the USDA’s  Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP) will allocate US$123mn in grants to meat and poultry processors for new facilities and for the renovation and expansion of existing facilities. This can include building, modernising, or expanding existing processing facilities, including mobile slaughter units, and developing, installing, or modernising equipment and technology. 

Producer-owned co-ops are listed as potential beneficiaries of the scheme. USDA will award between $10m or 30% of total project costs (whichever is less) and $250,000. A cost share of 70% of the total project cost is required. Applicants will be required to identify sources and amounts to make up the 70% cost share in the application.

According to co-op apex NCBA Clusa, since the establishment of MPPEP, three co-operative meat and poultry processors, Michigan Turkey Producers, Montana Premium Processing Cooperative, and Island Grown Farmers’ Cooperative, have received awards through the MPPEP program totalling over $2m in co-operative MPPEP funds. 

NCBA Clusa said it applauds “USDA’s investments in co-operatives to strengthen our nation’s food supply chain and encourages eligible meat and poultry processing co-operatives to take advantage of this opportunity”.

Co-ops will have until 22 November to apply for this round of funding.