Farm Action celebrates today’s decision by the Supreme Court of the United States to uphold California’s Proposition 12, which outlawed the sale of pork produced with the use of gestation crates.
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court preserves states’ rights to protect the interests of their own citizens, and creates markets for America’s independent hog farmers,” said Joe Maxwell, president of Farm Action and Missouri hog farmer. “Proposition 12 is a lifeline for farmers working to feed their communities and stay in business.”
Passed in 2018 by a vote of more than 60%, Proposition 12 created a tremendous market opportunity for independent family farmers by setting standards for how food sold in the state of California could be produced. Many independent producers never used gestation crates or had already transitioned away from them as the market demanded.
The final Supreme Court opinion cited an amicus brief filed in August 2022 by Farm Action, the Socially Responsible Agriculture Project, Farm Aid, and 14 other farm organizations, which stated that Proposition 12 allows independent producers to compete with monopoly meatpacking corporations. Smithfield Foods, Tyson Foods, JBS USA, and Cargill together control 70% of the hog-processing market. Since the 1980s, the United States has lost hundreds of thousands of hog farmers as a result of concentration.
Farm Action has long advocated for Proposition 12, which transfers power in the food system from monopoly corporations to farmers and ranchers.
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