USDA recently announced the $26.7 million orange purchase program will commence on September 9 and run through December 18, 2019. This is the final installment of the original $55 million program that was offered last year to offset losses associated with trade disputes. Over $14 million will be allocated to California orange shippers during this time frame with another $1.745 million going to a California fruit broker. Other beneficiaries include an Elgin, Minnesota-based broker that will receive a $1 million purchase order and a Florida-based firm that will receive a $500,000 order.
The entire purchase is for small fruit, a combination of Valencia and Navel oranges, that will be removed from the domestic market and redirected to food banks and charitable institutions.
USDA is now seeking input from stakeholders on how best to restructure this process for the calendar year 2020 since the Administration will make available $104 million for orange purchases.