Bloomberg | U.S. Meat Giants Face Biggest Attack in Century From Probe

by David McLaughlin Source: Bloomberg Business Date Published: June 15, 2020 The Trump administration is launching what could turn out to be the biggest attack in a century against the giants of America’s meat industry, which already faced uproar over employee treatment during the pandemic. The Justice Department is bringing criminal charges in the poultry industry just as it opens a formal probe of beef companies. Regulators are also scrutinizing potential price manipulation, and on Capitol Hill, lawmakers are clamoring for a Read More …

South Dakota Public Broadcasting | Pandemic Widens Gulf Between Packers and Producers

by Seth Tupper Source: South Dakota Public Broadcasting Date Published: June 2, 2020 Rancher Rick Fox said there aren’t as many buyers for his cattle anymore, because the four major beef processors are so big they’ve pushed out competition. He said that drives down the price of cattle. “It’s kind of like going to a farm auction and if you wait till the end of the sale when everybody leaves, you get a pretty good deal,” Fox said. That good deal for meatpackers Read More …

High Plains Journal | COVID-19 exposing stress points in meat supply system

by David Murray Source: High Plains Journal Date Published: May 24, 2020 As the COVID-19 crisis grinds on, it is exposing serious stress points in the nation’s delicately balanced meat supply system. Decades of consolidation and centralization in the meat processing industry have created a system precisely attuned to serve the exact mix of retail and wholesale meat customers that existed prior to the virus. Improved logistics and data management techniques have helped the system operate in as Read More …

Advocates Take to Social Media to #BreakUpBigAg

Between Monday, June 10th and Friday, June 14th the Organization for Competitive Markets led a social media campaign called #BreakUpBigAg to support the Agribusiness Merger Moratorium Act. Organizations and individual advocates published their pictures along with statements in support of the moratorium on Facebook and Twitter. In their pictures, participants were holding posters with facts about consolidation in our farm and food systems. These facts included: “1950s: farmers received 50% of the food dollar. Today: farmers receive 14.8% of Read More …

President Trump Should Say No to Brazil’s Beef Import Deal

“With this acquisition, we become the largest beef company in the world.” With these words, JBS President Joesley Batista set in motion what today has become an invasion of the U.S. beef market by Brazilian corporations. Batista uttered these words in 2007 during JBS S.A.’s announcement that it had just purchased the U.S.’s third largest beef processor, Swift Food Company. A year later, JBS seized on the opportunity to expand its U.S. acquisitions and purchased Smithfield Beef Group, Read More …

Occupy Langdon: We Are Less Than One Percent

by Richard Oswald The Occupy Wall Street Movement has been called “a potent political and cultural conversation”. On the other hand Occupy movements in cities like Washington DC have been called over reported and under attended. That is definitely not the case here because Occupy Langdon has been completely off the radar screen, totally undiscussed, and one hundred percent unreported. Until now. I’m breaking this thing wide open. Here around Langdon and all across the USA, less than Read More …

Farm Bill 2012: El Dorado in Recession?

Anita Poole-Endsley Executive Director In centuries past, Spanish Conquistadors searched for the famed city of El Dorado. El Dorado was rumored to be made of gold where riches abounded. El Dorado was never found, and may have never existed except in the minds of those hoping to satisfy their urges for financial security. Such is the quest for a farm bill in 2012. Agricultural producers are searching for an answer to secure their financial status through policy and Read More …

Ranchers Must Keep Pushing, Ex-GIPSA Chief Says

Updated: Wednesday, February 08, 2012 11:42 AM By MATEUSZ PERKOWSKI Capital Press Ranchers risk losing their independence unless they keep pressing for stronger oversight of meat packers, according to a former USDA official who recently resigned after losing a battle over livestock industry reforms. Cattle producers are subject to the same forces as the packer-dominated hog and chicken industries, said Dudley Butler, who left his post as chief of the agency’s Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration in Read More …