FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 7, 2021
Washington – Representing National Farmers Union in a hearing today before the U.S. House Agriculture Committee on the “State of the Livestock Industry,” Scott Blubaugh detailed the negative impact consolidation has on family farmers and consumers.
“Promoting competition has been and continues to be a top priority for NFU because of the detrimental effects of consolidation on farmers, ranchers, and consumers,” testified Blubaugh. “Today, most sectors in America’s farm and food system are heavily consolidated and dominated by a small handful of multinational corporations, but even more so in the livestock industry. As a result, farmers and ranchers have been deprived choices, innovation, fair prices, and fair treatment.”
Blubaugh called for strong action by the Committee, other lawmakers, and the Administration to address these serious problems. Specifically, Blubaugh called for specific changes to address:
- Packers and Stockyards Act (PSA)
- Price-fixing in the livestock and poultry industries
- Supply chain disruptions
- Competition and diverse market opportunities
- Reliable, accurate, and robust market information
“There are several ways to ensure a more resilient food supply for consumers and a competitive marketplace for family farmers and ranchers,” Blubaugh testified. “Across the economy, there must be more scrutiny of buyer power, and regulators must consider the need for robust competition at all links of the supply chain. Furthermore, federal and state governments should invest in supporting more market competition in marketing and processing to build a more resilient livestock sector and to ensure greater value accrues to local and regional food systems,” he concluded.
Other panel witnesses included: U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley and representatives of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, North American Meat Institute, National Pork Producers Council and the American Sheep Industry Association.
Last month, NFU launched the “Fairness for Farmers” campaign, an endeavor with clear goals: to promote competitive markets and address rampant corporate consolidation in the food and agriculture sectors and in rural economies. To learn more, visit https://nfu.org/fairness-for-farmers/.
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National Farmers Union advocates on behalf of nearly 200,000 American farm families and their communities. We envision a world in which farm families and their communities are respected, valued, and enjoy economic prosperity and social justice.
Look for us online at NFU.org and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.