LINCOLN, NE – The Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) sent a letter today to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), and National Chicken Council (NCC) challenging them to a series of debates over the merits of the newly released GIPSA Farmer Fair Practices Rules. All three industrialized agriculture trade organizations have denounced these rules which clearly benefit America’s family farmers and ranchers.
OCM has worked toward the implementation of meaningful GIPSA rules for nearly a decade, and is proud to stand with the USDA in taking this important step toward ensuring needed transparency in the marketplace for America’s livestock producers and poultry growers who have struggled against anti-competitive practices by the largest multinational corporations.
Mike Weaver, President of OCM said, “OCM challenges NCBA and its cohorts to publicly explain why they have once again chosen to side with corporate integrators, meatpackers and processors over American family farmers and ranchers who have helped build our country and are the best assurance of a safe, healthy, just and secure food system. The GIPSA rules are much-needed marketplace safeguards that will ensure U.S. farmers have the opportunity to compete in both the U.S. domestic and the global market. OCM stands ready to defend the merits of the GIPSA rules anytime, anywhere.”
This is not the first time NCBA has chosen to side with multinational meatpackers and processors to lobby against policies that would benefit the American farmers and ranchers it claims to represent. NCBA lobbied to abolish Country of Origin Labeling, effectively stopping U.S. family farmers and ranchers from differentiating their products in the marketplace. The irony is that NCBA is the primary contractor of the Beef Checkoff Program, tasked with using U.S. producers’ checkoff taxes to promote U.S. beef. Through its efforts, NCBA has killed U.S. producers’ most powerful marketing tool, the identification of U.S. beef as a product of the U.S.A. History is now repeating itself as NCBA and other industrialized agriculture interests lobby against the GIPSA rules to again block family farmers’ opportunity to compete in the global marketplace.
In its letter, OCM asks NCBA, NPPC, and NCC to agree to a series of debates, to provide suggested dates in January for the debates and to provide suggested locations. Based on the short period of time available for public comment on the rules, OCM has requested a response by January 6th.
Media Contact: Angela Huffman, 614-390-7552