Dear leaders of the Congressional Agriculture Committees,
We the undersigned organizations are writing to express our strong support for H.R. 4612 and S. 2570, the Fortifying Refrigeration Infrastructure and Developing Global Exports (FRIDGE) Act, a bipartisan, bicameral bill recently introduced by Reps. Randy Feenstra (IA), Tracey Mann (KS), Jim Costa (CA) and Salud Carbajal (CA), with Sens. Braun (IN) and Fetterman (PA) leading the companion.
As organizations involved in the production, processing, storage and distribution of U.S. perishable food and agriculture exports, we believe that this legislation can help expand into new markets, promote our agricultural products, and feed the world without taking resources away from MAP and FMD.
The FRIDGE Act would strengthen these programs by adding authority to focus additional efforts on improving food supply chain infrastructure in developing markets, which is essential for expanding and diversifying trade. The FRIDGE Act would authorize USDA to enter into contracts to deliver needs assessments, training, and other technical assistance to enhance the capabilities of infrastructure in new and developing foreign markets.
One of the largest barriers to further growing export markets for frozen and refrigerated U.S. food and agriculture products is insufficient cold chain capacity in developing countries. According to the U.S. International Trade Administration, cold chain systems are crucial to the growth of global trade in perishable products and to the worldwide availability of food. Each year, billions of tons of perishable food products and millions of dollars’ worth of U.S. exports are lost due to poor cold chain systems in developing markets. By strengthening cold chain capacity in developing countries, perishable products can maintain their safety and quality, and increase their transportability.
As you move forward with the Farm Bill reauthorization process, we strongly urge you to support the inclusion of the FRIDGE Act into the upcoming Farm Bill. Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to working with you.
American Frozen Food Institute
Controlled Environment Building Association
Global Cold Chain Alliance
International Dairy Foods Association
International Institute of All-natural Refrigeration
Livestock Marketing Association
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
National Turkey Federation
North Central Poultry Association