WASHINGTON, DC – With America and the world grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) today commended the Trump Administration, and in particular the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), for providing new guidance recognizing the food and agriculture industries as critical infrastructure. Today’s announcement from DHS can be read here.
Earlier this week, CRA and a number of other organizations who collectively represent the food, beverage, and consumer goods industries, sent a letter on this issue to policymakers at all levels of government including the White House Coronavirus Task Force, the National Governors Association, the National Association of Counties, the United States Conference of Mayors and many others. The letter, which can be read here, emphasized the importance of ensuring that American consumers are confident the U.S. food supply is safe during this time of unprecedented uncertainty and that the food supply chain be considered an equal part of any critical infrastructure designation.
Noting that a lack of uniformity across various levels of government has led to significant industry confusion, the letter asked federal and state governments to act expeditiously and coordinate a unified and public framework that makes clear that continued access to food and essential items is equally as important as the continued supply.
“On behalf of CRA and its members, we thank for the Trump Administration for quickly clarifying the critical infrastructure designation for the food and agriculture industry. These are uncertain times for all Americans, but the good news is that the U.S. food supply is among the safest in the world and many companies are increasing the levels of sanitation and food safety testing beyond what is required by law or any regulatory guidelines during this pandemic. But we also need to ensure that our government, at all levels, is continuing to work hand-in-hand with the industry and providing clear guidance to ensure that our supply chain remains solid and food is being moved to consumers as quickly and safely as possible. This is a welcome and expeditious step by the President’s Department of Homeland Security and many other federal agencies and we thank them for responding to our request,” said CRA President and CEO John Bode.
As part of the effort to provide up to date information about the COVID-19 pandemic, and particularly how it might affect the food and agriculture industries, CRA also announced today that it has a launched a new information clearinghouse on its website that shares resources from public health agencies on the spread and impact of the pandemic.
“Americans are depending on the food and agriculture manufacturing and processing communities to keep their pantries stocked. But we also want to make sure our companies and their team members who are working day and night to meet that commitment have the information and resources they need to stay safe and ensure the safety of consumers as well. We are incredibly proud of the way in which the food and agriculture industry workers have stepped-up to help manage this unprecedented crisis and CRA wants to make sure we continue to be there for them as well,” Bode concluded.