Biden Administration Will Outline Steps to Boost Competition in the Meat Sector in Monday Announcement
President Biden, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and Attorney General Merrick Garland will announce “the Biden-Harris Administration’s Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain." The White House made the announcement in a media advisory early Monday morning, and says the goal of the plan is too boost competition while reducing prices in the meat-processing industry.
Details of the plan will be outlined at 1 p.m. ET Monday. According to the White House fact sheet, the administration says "the meat and poultry processing sector is a textbook example, with lack of competition hurting consumers, producers, and our economy."
The White House also says the announcement will happen “with family and independent farmers and ranchers to discuss his administration’s work to boost competition and reduce prices in the meat-processing industry, where corporate consolidation has led to rising prices for consumers and lower earnings for farmers and ranchers.” The White House states, “The meat producers will talk about the challenges they have faced as large conglomerates have absorbed more and more smaller processors.”
The action on Monday follows Biden's Executive Order in July to help address anti-competitive practices in the meat industry. The White House continues to say a small handful of meatpackers control the majority of the markets for beef, pork, and poultry, enabling them to squeeze farmers and ranchers while also raising prices on consumers. The topic has been a point of conversation for the White House several times since, with several mentions of retail meat prices soaring due to consolidation in the industry.
According to ProFarmer Washington Correspondent Jim Wiesemeyer, the bottom-line is antitrust actions remain in focus. He says agriculture remains one of the focal points for the Biden administration on this front, with today’s virtual meeting aimed at discussing the administrations’ efforts to boost competition and reduce prices in the meat processing industry. The officials will listen to complaints about consolidation in the industry, while launching a new portal to allow farmers and ranchers to report unfair trade practices by meatpackers.