FNS published a proposed rule in the Federal Register, Revisions and Clarifications in Requirements for the Processing of Donated Foods. This rule proposes to revise and clarify requirements for the processing of donated foods (currently at 7 CFR 250.30) in order to: incorporate successful processing options tested in demonstration projects, ensure accountability for donated foods provided for processing, and increase program efficiency. The rule continues to require multi-State processors to enter into National Processing Agreements to process donated foods into end products, continues to permit processors to substitute commercially purchased beef and pork of U.S. origin and of equal or better quality for donated beef and pork, and would increase oversight of inventories of donated foods at processors. The rule also revises regulatory provisions in plain language, to make them easier to read and understand. You can find the rule at 82 FR 1231.
Comments from Jodi Batten @ Red Gold:
After briefly reviewing the 22 page document (triple column), I extracted just a few paragraphs that I thought might be helpful in order for you to get a quick idea of the content of the Proposed Rule attached. By no means is this an exhaustive review of the attached Proposed Rule.
From what I can tell, most of the language codifies policy guidance that has been a matter of SOP for most of us as well as demonstration projects; however, I did notice a few interesting proposed changes to the language that are worth noting and potentially even helpful to Processors.
I would strongly recommend that every Industry Member review the attached Proposed Rule to insure that they understand the Proposed Changes. This rule is related specifically to our business of Commodity Processing. Proposed changes may impact every member differently and there may be language clarifications that are needed or comments that would be helpful to share.
USDA welcomes comments and/or clarifications and the deadline for comments is March 6, 2017 (60 days).
Processing Rule-Side by Side
Processing Rule Side-by-Side
No current definition.
Backhauling means the delivery of donated foods to a processor for processing from a recipient agency’s storage facility.
Commingling means the storage of donated foods together with commercially purchased foods.
Contracting agency means the distributing agency, subdistributing agency, or recipient agency which enters into a processing contract.
No proposed definition.
End product data schedule means a processor’s description of its processing of donated food into a finished end product, including the processing yield of donated food.
Fee-for-service means the price by pound or by case representing a processor's cost of ingredients (other than donated foods), labor, packaging, overhead, and other costs incurred in the conversion of the donated food into the specified end product.
In-State Processing Agreement means a distributing agency’s agreement with an in-state processor to process donated foods into finished end products for sale to eligible recipient agencies, or for sale to the distributing agency.
National Processing Agreement means an agreement between FNS and a multi-State processor to process donated foods into end products for sale to distributing or recipient agencies.
Recipient Agency Processing Agreement means a recipient agency’s agreement with a processor to process donated foods and to purchase the finished end products.