Today, the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) proudly endorses the Peas, Legumes, and Nuts Today (PLANT) Act, a groundbreaking initiative introduced in Congress with the potential to shape the future of the plant-based food industry in the United States. Championed by Congressman Jim McGovern, the PLANT Act is a critical piece of legislation that seeks to provide more opportunities for farmers producing ingredients used in plant-based foods, support food companies in their transformative work, and bolster USDA efforts to promote the export of plant-based foods.

The PLANT Act ensures that farmers and food companies involved in plant-based food production are eligible for USDA assistance, fostering economic growth, and job creation in rural communities while strengthening the country’s competitiveness on the global stage.

“We are thrilled to endorse the PLANT Act as a critical step in ensuring strong federal support for plant-based foods,” said Nicole Negowetti, PBFA’s Vice President of Food Systems and Policy. “This legislation championed by Representative McGovern will create more opportunities for farmers, provide essential support to food manufacturers–like many of our PBFA members–and bolster efforts to promote the growth and export of plant-based foods. By empowering a diverse range of stakeholders, from farmers to manufacturers and brands, we can accelerate the advancement of plant-based foods and contribute to a healthier, sustainable, and inclusive food future.”

Key Provisions of the PLANT Act:

  • Increased USDA incentives for farmers producing ingredients in plant-based foods, such as pulses and mushrooms.
  • Updated USDA Market Access Program to encourage exports of plant-based foods.
  • Clear eligibility for existing USDA loan programs to include the expansion or building of plant-based food processing facilities.
  • Strengthened Rural Development initiatives to support plant-based food manufacturing in rural communities, including updates to the Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Area Program and the RISE program.
  • Creation of a new plant-based protein research program to improve functionality and flavor of key plant protein ingredients.
  • Expanded authorization for the Pulse Crop Health Initiative.
  • Updated Value-Added Producer Grant program to support domestic supply chains, including specialty crop growers.
  • Establishment of an Office of Plant-Based Food Options and Innovative Production within USDA to provide competitive grants to farmers, companies, and researchers, as well as assistance to new and beginning farmers.
  • Launch of a Plant Protein Innovation Initiative to direct technical assistance and grants to businesses, supporting regional plant-based food production, research, and plant-protein functionality.

PBFA believes that the PLANT Act will have a significant impact on the plant-based food industry, providing crucial support to farmers and companies and securing the future of plant-based foods in the United States.