Historic dehy purchase by USDA
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the purchase of 240 metric tons (MT) of dehydrated potato granules and 320 MT of dehydrated potato flakes under the McGovern-Dole Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program.
This is the first time U.S. dehydrated potato granules have been purchased for a U.S. international food assistance program.
Prior to this purchase, only U.S. dehydrated potato flakes had been approved and purchased for food assistance programs. The inclusion of fortified potato granules marks an achievement for the USPB.
“It took us five years to get here,” commented T.K. Kuwahara, USPB International Marketing Manager for dehydrated potato products. “The challenges were immense. In particular, developing the packaging was a team effort requiring a lot of man-hours by many aspects of the industry, as was the formulation of a fortified product.”
After obtaining initial approval for granules to be placed on the USDA’s list of approved commodities for food assistance programming, USPB worked for four years with industry partners to develop a bag to meet USDA program requirements. After obtaining approval for the bag in 2011, USPB worked with Counterpart International to get the new product included in its application. Counterpart’s interest in granules was sparked by attending USPB’s PVO workshop in 2011. USPB will also be providing on-the-ground training for Counterpart in February 2013, to ensure this PVO is able to successfully utilize the new product.