Today the White House made a staunch pledge of support for independent farmers, ranchers, processors, and workers by announcing a plan to improve competition and resilience in the meat and poultry sectors. In keeping with objectives from July’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy, today’s Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain aims to loosen the grip that consolidated corporations currently have on the industries.
The Action Plan honors recommendations made by Family Farm Action Alliance staff and supporters, and in several cases goes above and beyond the requested level of investment. We applaud the increase to $1 billion toward expanding independent processing capacity. In our comments on the Investment and Opportunities for Meat and Poultry Processing Infrastructure, we called for the investment of at least $250 million into local and regional food systems; this plan directs $375 million dollars toward that end, with an additional $100 million to help offset overtime USDA meat inspection costs for small plants.
To our request for funding to protect America’s meatpacking workers, the White House responded with $150 million to provide development of worker training, increased workplace safety, and well-paying jobs. Additionally, the Action Plan offers increased whistleblower protection for farmers and ranchers who report market abuses to DOJ and USDA.
Finally, we are gratified that the White House agrees that all funding from these measures should go exclusively to independent local and regional processors — and not to multinational conglomerates.
We acknowledge that while there’s a long road ahead toward a more fair, competitive, and resilient food system, we are encouraged that the White House is listening to those who actually power the U.S. food and farm system: independent farmers, ranchers, processors, and workers.
Media Contact: Dee Laninga, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202.450.0094