Following is OCM’s policy position on restoring the Packers and Stockyards Act to its original intent.
1. Implement federal legislation that amends Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921(P&S Act) to provide that the use of a ranking system for ranking poultry growers for settlement purposes is unfair, unjustly discriminatory, or deceptive and a strict violation of section 202(a) of the P&S Act regardless of whether it harms or is likely to harm competition.
2. Implement federal legislation that is consistent with USDA’s long-held position that a showing of harm or likely harm to competition is not required for violations of the P&S Act.
3. Implement federal legislation that clearly sets out any retaliatory action or threat of retaliatory action by any packer, swine contractor, or live poultry dealer is conduct or action that is unfair, unjustly discriminatory or deceptive and a violation of section 202(a) of the P&S Act regardless of whether the conduct harms or is likely to harm competition.
4. Further, implement federal legislation that would codify the GIPSA interim final rule §§ 201.210 and 201.211. Issue § 201.3(a) with the following changes:
a. Define that a legitimate business justification or interest is limited to a recognition of a certified program or market differentiation so long as all producers like situated and participating and meeting the established standards or attributes of certified program or differentiated market are treated in a like manner.
b. Add a requirement that packers, live poultry dealers, and swine contractors maintain records justifying differences in prices.
c. Add a provision prohibiting packers from purchasing livestock from other packers.
d. Add a requirement that packers offer the same terms to groups of small producers as offered to large producers when the group can collectively meet the same quantity commitments.
e. Add a requirement that packers refrain from entering into exclusive agreements with livestock dealers.
f. Add a requirements that packers and live poultry dealers submit sample contracts that clearly set out the currently offered terms and conditions to GIPSA for posting to the public.