Lincoln, Nebraska – The Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) expresses its pleasure at the announcement today by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Attorney General Eric Holder that they will hold the first ever joint workshops on agricultural market competition. The announcement states: “The workshops will address the dynamics of competition in agriculture markets including, among other issues, buyer power (also known as monopsony) and vertical integration.” This is the heart of OCM’s mission and we will cooperate in every way possible to help make these workshops productive and successful.
Fred Stokes, OCM Executive Directors said, “For decades, farmers and ranchers have paid too much for their inputs and received too little for their production due to concentration and lack of competition in the marketplace. Finally, there is recognition by USDA and DOJ that competitive markets are vital to a healthy agriculture and hope that they will be the drivers in bringing them about.”
“It is important to have a fair and competitive marketplace that benefits agriculture, rural economies and American consumers,” said Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. “Maintaining a robust agricultural sector is crucial to the strength of the American economy and to who we are as a nation,” said Attorney General Holder.
These statements are very comforting to OCM who has worked hard and long to bring about an open, transparent, fair and competitive marketplace for those who produce our food, fiber and now, an increasingly significant part of our energy needs. “It appears that we now have a fleeting opportunity to do something about farmers and ranchers being gouged when they buy and shortchanged when they sell,” said Randy Stevenson, OCM President. “Our nation’s food security requires a healthy and productive domestic agriculture that hinges on the marketplace being fair and competitive,” he continues.