FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 3, 2022
Contact: Lyndsey Medsker
WASHINGTON, DC – This afternoon, the White House hosted an event to discuss competition and capacity building in the meat supply chain. President Biden, Attorney General Merrick Garland, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese announced the Administration’s Action Plan for a Fairer and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain. Oklahoma Farmers Union President Scott Blubaugh offered perspective and insight into the devastating impacts consolidation has had on the industry and rural America.
“National Farmers Union has long advocated for increased competition in the meat-processing industry. Our national Fairness for Farmers campaign has highlighted the devastating impact consolidation has had on America’s family farmers and ranchers all over the country,” said Rob Larew, President, National Farmers Union. “At every state of the process, farmers are squeezed and forced to choose between fewer and excessively expensive options while consumers are paying premiums at the grocery stores.”
“We are hopeful that the Administration’s renewed focus on boosting competition and reducing prices will force the changes needed to create an even playing field for those who take on the responsibility of feeding America,” added Larew.
“America’s independent farmers and ranchers have been sounding the alarm for years on the lack of transparency and competition in livestock markets,” said Oklahoma Farmers Union President Scott Blubaugh while speaking at the event today. “Industry consolidation has had a significant negative impact on rural America as farmers and ranchers have experienced reduced marketing options and reduced power in the marketplace.”
Blubaugh added, “Today’s announcement from the Biden-Harris Administration is absolutely welcomed news. Independent farmers and ranchers like myself are hopeful this renewed focus on boosting competition, transparency and market access will provide a more level playing field that will benefit cattle producers and consumers alike.”
Discussions this afternoon centered on specific Administration actions –the release of $1 billion in USDA funds for diversified meat processing capacity and the creation of a Department of Justice portal for farmers and ranchers to report violations of competition laws. The full rundown of the “Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain” can be viewed here.
National Farmers Union advocates on behalf of nearly 200,000 American farm families and their communities. We envision a world in which farm families and their communities are respected, valued, and enjoy economic prosperity and social justice.