Following the announcement of a one billion dollar investment into America’s independent meat processing capacity, the White House identified four stages of their plan to reform our highly-concentrated meat and poultry industries into something more fair and competitive.
The first stage, funding, is outlined in the Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain. The Action Plan honors recommendations made by Farm Action staff and supporters. Already, the USDA has released $32 million that has gone to 167 different meat and poultry processors. The USDA is still determining how the balance of the funds can be spent to most effectively combat concentration in the sector — with the understanding that all of the investment will build out our local and regional food systems, and none of it will enable the monopoly meatpacker or the monopoly retailer to process their own meat.
The remaining stages of the plan to improve competition in the meat and poultry sectors are New Rules (Packers and Stockyards Act and Product of U.S.A. Labeling), Increased Antitrust Enforcement, and Livestock and Poultry Market Transparency. While we think the first stage, funding, is an encouraging and important first step, we will continue to urge the Administration to complete the remaining steps quickly in order to break the stranglehold of corporate control.