Today, Farm Action president Joe Maxwell will testify before the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law at a live-streamed hearing called “Reviving Competition, Part 5: Addressing the Effects of Economic Concentration on America’s Food Supply,” slated for 10:00 am Eastern.
Farm Action has long advocated for a hearing with this committee, which presents an opportunity to share the real-world impacts of corporate consolidation on farmers, workers, and rural communities. For everyday people, the unbridled corporate mega-mergers and acquisitions mean there will be more farmers trapped in unfair financial schemes and more rural communities hollowed out of wealth and opportunity.
In his testimony, Maxwell will focus on recent developments in the highly consolidated fertilizer industry, as well as the abusive dynamics found in beef markets, where consolidation results in low income for the producer, high prices for the consumer, and excessive profits for the big meatpacker. This testimony is drawn from Farm Action’s newly-released briefing paper, which uses fertilizer as a case study for the mechanisms by which corporations consolidate and then control markets within the U.S. food system to the detriment of independent businesses.
This hearing could yield real, substantial change to our brittle and dangerous status quo: the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust has the power to review our antitrust laws, and more authority than even the House Agriculture committee to rein in Big Ag. By encouraging this Subcommittee to curb and prevent monopolistic tendencies, Farm Action aims to shift power away from consolidated corporations and create opportunity for all.
In addition to the oral testimony from Joe Maxwell, Farm Action is submitting to this Subcommittee the following materials: