Biden Administration talks about improving the Meat and Poultry Supply Chain
The Biden administration has unveiled their new action plan for a fairer, more competitive and resilient meat and poultry supply chain, which the President says will help level the playing field.
“Capitalism without competition isn’t capitalism, it’s exploitation. That’s what we’re seeing in meat and poultry. And those industries now, small independent farmers and ranchers are being driven out of business. Sometimes businesses that have been around for generations. The strikes that their dignity, their respect, and the family legacy, so many of them carried for generations after generation.”
The initiative includes 4 core strategies to support producer profitability and affordable prices for consumers.
The first aims to strengthen the rules in the Packers and Stockyards Act, which will also be supported by a new Department of Justice “complaint portal” for producers to report anti-competitive practices.
“The anti-competitive practices in agriculture, as in any industry, hurt the American people, producers, consumers and workers alike, and they hurt the American economy. Too many industries have become too consolidated over time. Too many companies have pursued corporate conduct and more aggressive mergers that have made all of us vulnerable. Against this background. Our antitrust efforts cannot and will not slow down,” said Attorney General, Merrick Garland.
Oklahoma Farmers Union President, Scott Blubaugh, spoke with the President about the plan and shared his support.
“The approach of having USDA and justice work closely together on this anti-competitive issues, I think is really important. We as an industry have asked for this for a long time. So we are glad to see that come about and promise to enforce the laws more vigorously and take a look at those anti-competitive practices.”
The administration is also putting $1 billion towards the expansion of independent processing capacity.
“This is the first step I think in the right direction and trying to remedy the situation is every food dollar every retail city dollar that we can keep locally in our communities and in our state, helps build that economy in our local areas create jobs, you know, it helps our schools and the churches, the hardware store and whatnot in town.”
The fourth part of the plan will work to increase transparency in cattle markets and the president praised bipartisan work from senators Jon Tester and Chuck Grassley that looks to address the issue from the legislative side.
During the meeting, Blubaugh also told the president that Oklahoma has already received 10 million dollars from the Cares Act which has helped fund 40 projects for small processors with 19 of those already online and increasing capacity in the state.