Five independent processors will receive grants totaling $59 million to expand local meat processing capacity, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Tuesday. The grants are part of a $1 billion initiative by the administration to strengthen the food supply chain and introduce more competition into the meat processing sector.
In a summary of achievements, the White House pointed on Monday to progress toward increased competition, including action on livestock marketing, consumer right-to-repair and ocean shipping rates. It said President Biden would "highlight progress we need to continue to make to promote competition and protect consumers" in the State of the Union speech on Tuesday, with so-called junk fees as an area for action.
At a meeting of his competition council, President Biden announced on Monday a proposed USDA rule to prevent unfair and deceptive practices in livestock marketing. It was the second of three rules planned by the USDA to give poultry, hog and cattle producers more leverage in dealing with meat processors.
While supporting more transparency in cattle prices, the American Farm Bureau Federation draws the line at requiring meatpackers to buy slaughter cattle on the cash market, said president Zippy Duvall. Mandatory purchases are a prime feature of the leading Senate bill for cattle market reform.
Siding with farm activists, President Biden said "Big Ag is is putting a squeeze on farmers" and signed an executive order telling the USDA to rejuvenate the livestock, seed, fertilizer and retail food markets. The executive order on competition, reaching from the FDA to the Pentagon, called on the FTC to enact right-to-repair rules so farmers can fix their own tractors rather than take them to the dealership when software malfunctions.
The Biden administration earmarked $4 billion on Tuesday to strengthen the U.S. food system, including an expansion of local and regional food processing capacity. Aiming to increase competition, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said he hoped to see "new entries" in the highly concentrated processing sector.
In a joint statement on Monday, six farm groups called on the Justice Department to investigate the highly consolidated meatpacking industry and urged the development of “new independent, local and regional packers.” Ranch and farm groups have complained repeatedly during the …
Sen. Cory Booker, who's seeking the Democratic nomination for president, today introduced new legislation that would reshape how livestock farming operates in the U.S. The Farm System Reform Act includes some changes that Booker and other legislators have proposed in the past, like a moratorium on new concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Other elements of the bill are new, like a plan to phase out large CAFOs in the next 20 years.(No paywall)
A collection of dairy farmers who allege anti-competitive conduct by the nation's largest dairy cooperative will take their case to a jury trial. A U.S. district court judge late last week denied a motion for summary judgment — which would have wrapped the case up without trial — from defendant Dairy Farmers of America (DFA).(No paywall)