Farmer Focus on the impact of the Meat and Poultry Action Plan
Farmers and industry groups are reacting to the Biden Administration’s new action plan to improve competition in the meat industry.
Corwin Heatwole founded Farmer Focus with the goal of reshaping the business model of the poultry industry to put more power in the hands of farmers. He says the President’s new action plan shares the same focus.
“For us, it was really just validation that what we’re doing as a company with our mission to promote and protect generational family farms and how we’ve been working to level the playing field for farmers in the area, give them more options, opportunities to make their farms sustainable and financially viable.”
He says farmers across the country currently have limited options because of consolidation in the meat industry.
“Those farmers have a take it or leave that kind of option for their animals. And sometimes those options aren’t necessarily the most profitable for the farmer or put the farmer in a very tough place with without having areas to extract proper values for their animals. So, it’ll definitely help a lot of farmers create new avenues.”
Those limited options pushed Heatwole to start Farmer Focus, to ensure his farm could stay in business for the next generation.
“We had no choice but to start a company to create options for us. And so, with the administration’s focus on helping other companies and startups break the barrier to create processing capabilities, for to help other farmers have options is a great focus.”
He says the administration’s new initiative to focus on product labeling will also help connect consumers and farmers.
“The constraints in the industry and the lack of proper income from their animal’s kind of tie their hands to being able to implement these things that they want to do. Which ultimately hurts consumers as well because a lot of consumers are focused on buying locally, but they can’t reach the farmers that are working hard to you know, produce the highest quality animals and make them available.”
The action plan will invest $1 billion to expand packing capacity and strengthen rules and transparency in livestock marketing.