Reuters writer Leah Douglas reported this week that “the United States will publish new rules and $ 1 billion in funding this year to support independent meat processors and ranchers as part of a plan to address the lack of “real competition” in the meat sectorPresident Joe Biden said on Monday.
“The move comes amid growing fears that a handful of large beef, pork and poultry companies have too much control over the U.S. meat market, allowing them to dictate wholesale prices. and retail to profit at the expense of their suppliers and customers. “
Jeff Stein and Laura Reiley reported in today’s Washington Post that âThe White House on Monday unveiled measures designed to boost competition in the meat packaging industry.
âThe stages include $ 375 millions of dollars in grants to help independent meat producers; $ 275 million euros in capital; $ 100 millions in training for the meat and poultry workforce; and $ 100 million dollars to reduce inspection costs for “small and very small processing plants,” according to a statement. The White House said funding comes from US $ 1.9 trillion bailout adopted by Democrats in Congress in March.
Wall Street Journal editors Patrick Thomas and Catherine Lucey reported in today’s newspaper that âthe Biden administration set tougher regulations on Monday for american meat packers, accusing the industry of inflate Americans’ food bills, as meat companies say they know persistent supply chain problems and labor shortages as the economy recovers from the pandemic.
“President Biden’s pressure to fight meat prices comes as his administration seeks to reduce inflation, which peaked nearly four decades in November. Inflation has become a pressing concern for U.S. voters, according to a Wall Street Journal poll released last month, and Republicans have been criticizing Biden over high prices for months.
“The White House’s efforts to bring down meat prices are aimed at fostering competition and strengthening American farmers in a roughly $ 213 billion industry in which the four largest companies control 85% of beef production and 54% of poultry, according to the administration. The steps go from funds for regional meat processors help them compete better with large companies, stricter rules for the purchase of cattle and the labeling of meat, which are intended to support American farmers.
Four large companies control more than 50% of meat processing.
These middlemen take advantage of their position to overload grocery stores and ultimately consumers. @POTUS announces an action plan to strengthen competition and continue to fight for fair prices for farmers, ranchers and families. pic.twitter.com/QiIEwEBByH
– Jen Psaki (@PressSec) January 3, 2022
The Journal article noted that âMr. Biden has alleged than the biggest American meat companies use their scale to pay farmers less while increasing meat prices. “
The Journal article pointed out that, âMeat industry officials pushed back, assigning higher price tags in crates of meat to deepening work challenges in meat packing plants and rising costs for transport, packaging and animal feed. In November, the price of items such as bacon and ground beef rose 26% and 17%, respectively, from a year earlier, according to the Labor Department’s consumer price index.
James Politi reported Monday to Financial Times Online that “the measures announced by Biden on Monday include financial motivations, including subsidies, to build the capacity of independent meat processors, and measures to facilitate credit to small meat producers.
âThe White House also said it would prosecute stricter labeling standards for “Made in America” ââmeat products, which would harm large producers and processors who depend on imports in their production process. This could fuel tensions with meat exporters to the United States who have often complained about barriers to accessing the US market.
Also on Monday, Bloomberg’s Mike Dorning reported that “Biden did not answer the question of whether he would seek to dismantle large meat processing companies. Its efforts to inject more competition into the industry race counter to decades of consolidation since the late 1970s as the industry turned to larger factories to cut costs and courts adopted a more permissive interpretation of antitrust law. “
Donnelle Eller, writing on the front page of today’s Des Moines Register, reported that âBiden said he wanted to give producers selling their cattle More information on prices, address consumer labeling problems, and to strenghten a law designed to tackle abuse by meat packers.
The registry article adds that âthe administration cited four Iowa lawmakers – US Sens. Chuck grassley and Joni Ernst, both Republicans and Americans. Cindy axne, a democrat and Randy Feenstra, a Republican, for their bipartisan legislation aimed at improving transparency in livestock prices. “
Lawmakers from both political parties yesterday addressed livestock and meat pricing issues related to the broad lines of the administration in posts on Twitter:
Pres Biden meets with 2-day farmers like IA Farm Bureau Pres Brent Johnson to discuss how the Big 4 packers are screwing up livestock producers + consumers
– ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) January 3, 2022
I continue to work to advance my bipartite legislation with @ChuckGrassley which carries out significant livestock market reforms to ensure strong negotiated cash sales, the building blocks of price discovery / transparency.
– Senator Deb Fischer (@SenatorFischer) January 3, 2022
Montana ranchers need to be able to compete on a level playing field.
We need to thoroughly investigate allegations of pricing and market manipulation, increase transparency in livestock markets, and hold large slaughterhouses to account – all I am trying to do.
– Steve Daines (@SteveDaines) January 3, 2022
President Biden and @SecVilsackToday’s announcement will go a long way in providing more market and equity opportunities for cattle producers in Iowa and across the country.
– Representative Cindy Axne (@RepCindyAxne) January 3, 2022
.@ChuckGrassley and I’ve worked across the aisle to restore fairness to the livestock market and improve market transparency for hard-working Iowa cattle producers.
Our bipartisan effort must be part of President Biden’s conversation with farmers today.
– Joni Ernst (@SenJoniErnst) January 3, 2022
For years, slaughterhouses have seen their profits increase while cattle producers have suffered losses. Our proposal will ensure a solid negotiated trade, keeping a level playing field for all producers and packers.
Learn more about our invoice here: https://t.co/L10MeMW5yf
– Representative Randy Feenstra (@RepFeenstra) January 3, 2022
# AZ01 farmers have struggled for too long without the federal help they need. I’m happy to see the administration fight to bring down the prices of meat for Arizona families and protect our hard-working rural farmers, ranchers and independent processors. https://t.co/Bxqf6svboN
– Representative Tom O’Halleran (@RepOHalleran) January 3, 2022
Our ranchers produce the highest quality beef in the world and deserve access to fair markets. We continue to press the Department of Justice to investigate allegations of price manipulation / anti-competitive behavior in livestock markets and update Congress on its investigation into the packaging industry. meat.
– Senator John Hoeven (@SenJohnHoeven) January 3, 2022
Consolidation in the agriculture industry has been a problem since I started a farm. I’m glad to see that the administration has a plan to tackle the fundamental issues and implement many of my efforts to level the playing field for our family farmers and ranchers. https://t.co/vC6pPik2cF
– Senator Jon Tester (@SenatorTester) January 3, 2022