Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it was expanding the list of eligible specialty crop products eligible for disaster assistance under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). United Fresh Produce Association and industry association partners have strongly advocated for a further expansion for eligible products under CFAP since the program’s inception. This is the second adjustment to eligible commodities under the program. In addition, USDA is extending the application sign up period to September 11, 2020 for products that are covered under the CFAP payments.
“CFAP has provided important relief to fresh produce growers across the country who produce a diverse range of produce that have been directly impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic”, said United Fresh Produce Association President and CEO Tom Stenzel. “We are grateful to USDA for expanding this program and look forward to continue working with them to support growers whose produce is not covered under this further expansion of covered specialty crops.”
The list of additional products include: aloe leaves, bananas, batatas, bok choy, carambola (star fruit), cherimoya, chervil (french parsley), citron, curry leaves, daikon, dates, dill, donqua (winter melon), dragon fruit (red pitaya), endive, escarole, filberts, frisee, horseradish, kohlrabi, kumquats, leeks, mamey sapote, maple sap (for maple syrup), mesculin mix, microgreens, nectarines, parsley, persimmons, plantains, pomegranates, pummelos, pumpkins, rutabagas, shallots, tangelos, turnips/celeriac, turmeric, upland/winter cress, water cress, yautia/malanga, and yuca/cassava.
Additionally, USDA has added seven commodities – onions (green), pistachios, peppermint, spearmint, walnuts and watermelons to the list of products who are eligible for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stability (CARES) Act funding for sales losses (Category 1). Originally, these commodities were only eligible for direct payments that were based on marketing adjustments. The announcement also adjusts payment rates for onions (green), pistachios, peppermint, spearmint, walnuts, and watermelons.