9 Actions We Can Take Now to Strengthen Our Agriculture and Food System

The Covid-19 Pandemic has had many effects on the economy of the United States, and particularly hard-hit has been the agriculture and food sector.  Not since the Depression have we seen such a disparity between retail and farmgate prices, empty grocery shelves while people clamor for food, and farmers going out of business. Like something straight out of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, farmers are euthanizing livestock, dumping milk, and allowing produce to rot in the fields, Read More …

30% of Nothing is Still Nothing

Currently there is a movement in the cattle industry calling for a mandatory beef cattle cash market volume of 30%. Corbitt Wall is touting it as the biggest thing to hit the cattle industry since Y-Tex eartags, while patting himself on the back like he just invented a new card game. Meanwhile, NCBA has been spending our checkoff dollars developing an online cookbook.  Beef producers need Market Reform, not Martha Stewart. Perhaps NCBA could spend less of its Read More …

Action Alert: Comment on the Packers and Stockyards Act Proposed Rule

For decades, a federal law called the Packers and Stockyards Act protected America’s farmers and ranchers from abusive monopoly power in the livestock industry. The courts began to water down this law in the 1980’s, giving a handful of corporations unprecedented control over meat and poultry production. As a result, farmers and ranchers are the victims of price-fixing, collusion, and predatory contracts. Cattle, poultry and hog farmers and ranchers are going out of business while corporations like JBS, Smithfield, Read More …

Fueling Beef Monopoly Expansion, U.S. Lifts Two-Year Ban on Brazilian Beef Imports

On Friday, February 21, the United States reopened its border to fresh beef from Brazil after a more than two-year ban, according to a letter sent by the Food Safety and Inspection Service to the Brazilian agriculture minister, as reported by Bloomberg News. Negotiations between President Trump and President Bolsonaro began one year ago, and the two plan to meet next month in Brazil. The move, which the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) warned against in April 2019, threatens Read More …

Cooperative Consolidation: Why Dairy Farmers of America Should Not Be Allowed to Purchase Dean Foods

By Bobbi Wilson, Wisconsin Farmers Union The looming threat of a milk monopoly is making headlines as the nation’s largest dairy cooperative, Dairy Farmers of America, negotiates the purchase of Dean Foods following its bankruptcy announcement. If the deal is approved, DFA would achieve near total control over regional fluid milk markets in New England and the Midwest. The news comes on the heels of a Government Accountability Office report showing reduced farmer earnings and power imbalances result from Read More …

The Criminals Win Again: JBS Signs Deal to Increase Sales to China

JBS has done it again. Today, Meatingplace reports the Brazilian meatpacking giant’s South American arm has secured a deal to sell over $700 million dollars worth of beef, pork, and poultry to China per year under its Friboi and Seara brands out of Brazil. “This agreement reflects the maturity and evolution of our trade relations with China,” said Renato Costa, president of Friboi. “It will be an opportunity for us to evolve in our supply chain in an Read More …

Walmart the Meatpacker: When the Big Save Money Do the Small Live Better?

When you control over 25% of the U.S. grocery market and more than 50% of grocery sales in over 200 regions, you pretty much get to do whatever you want. Walmart, whose SuperCenter stores have been driving out local businesses in a town near you for over 30 years, has now decided it wants to try its hand at meatpacking. And why not? Cutting out the middleman is good for the bottom line. Keeping as many processes in-house Read More …

New Brazilian Class Action Targets Corrupt JBS in the Name of Democracy

Brazilian class action lawsuit against corrupt meatpacking behemoth JBS lays out the undisputed evidence that through bribing over 1,800 Brazilian politicians, JBS was able to take over U.S. Swift Food, U.S. Smithfield beef group, and Pilgrim’s Pride, launching their takeover of the U.S. meat processing industry and becoming the world’s leading meat processor.  The lawsuit demands JBS restore to the Brazilian public nearly a billion U.S. dollars of its ill-gotten gain. Meanwhile, U.S. officials have forked over yet Read More …