After being excluded from the first round of the United States Department of Agriculture’s COVID-19 food assistance program, olive growers are eligible for federal relief in the second round.
The USDA has made $14 billion available in this second round of funding. Applications can be made through farmers’ local USDA county office from September 21, 2020 through December 11, 2020. The maximum amount of aid awarded to any one farmer or company will be $250,000.See Also: COVID-19 Updates
“Olive oil payments will be based on the producer’s self-certified 2019 sales of olive oil in a declining block format… and will be equal to the amount of the olive oil producer’s eligible sales in calendar year 2019, multiplied by the payment rate for that range,” the CEO and president of the American Olive Oil Producers Association, Kimberly Houlding, wrote in a letter to members.
The payment gradation for olive oil are as follows:
As a practical example, if an olive oil producer earned $75,000 in sales during the 2019 calendar year, their payment would be $7,775. The producer would receive $5,300 for the amount of sales up to $49,999 and an additional $2,475 for the rest of the sales from $50,000 to $75,000.
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The only cases in which a producer will receive less than this calculation is if they had sales of more than $1 million in 2019, in which case they would receive the maximum amount of $250,000.
“Olive oil payments for producers who began farming in 2020 and had no sales in 2019 will be based on the producer’s actual 2020 sales as of the producer’s application date,” Houlding wrote.
“Eligible sales only include sales of olive oil grown by the producer,” she added. “The portion of sales derived from adding value to the olive oil, such as processing and packaging, and from sales of products purchased for resale, is not included in the payment calculation.”