USA

President Biden prepares control measures on meat prices

Safety & Legislation

The current administration blames a monopoly practiced by 4 large companies in the US market.

Posted on Sep 13 ,06:59

President Biden prepares control measures on meat prices

Meat prices in the US may enter under tighter control measures dictated by Washington. According to the current administration, four companies control the market in a monopolistic way, which has led to an unjustified rise in prices that is hurting the consumer. Brian Deese, Director of the National Economic Council; and the deputy directors of the same body Sameera Fazili (section of Manufacturing, Innovation and National Competition) and Bharat Ramamurti, (section of Consumer Protection) have launched a manifesto in which they explained that four large companies control most of the market for three specific products: beef, pork and poultry. It is specifically about:

- Cargill Meat Solutions, based in Minnesota.
- Tyson Foods, based in Springdale, Arkansas.
- JBS, based in Brazil.
- National Beef Packing, controlled by Brazilian producer Marfrig Global Foods.

According to Biden's advisers, during the pandemic, these four companies have increased prices, which has generated record profits. In fact, they say that meat, or more specifically the speculation that these companies have carried out with it, has been the source of half of the increase in the cost of the food shopping basket for Americans.
The solutions foreseen by Washington comprises:

Strong measures to crack down on illegal pricing, enforce antitrust laws, and bring more transparency to the meat processing industry.
The USDA is conducting an ongoing joint investigation with the Department of Justice into pricing in the chicken processing industry, which has already resulted in a $ 107 million guilty plea for Pilgrim's Pride.
The USDA has also announced a stronger law enforcement policy so that meat processors cannot use their dominance of the market to abuse farmers and ranchers.
The USDA is creating more transparency, with new market reports on what meat processors pay.
New rules designed to ensure that consumers get what they pay for when meat is labeled 'Product of the USA' will be put in place.
Provide relief to small businesses and workers affected by COVID and create a more competitive food supply chain.
USDA will invest $ 1.4 billion in pandemic assistance to help small producers, processors, distributors, farmers markets, seafood processors, and farm and food workers affected by COVID-19.
This aid includes 700 million to reach small operations that have not received resources in previous rounds of pandemic federal aid.
USDA will also invest $ 500 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to support new entrants in expanding local and regional meat and poultry processing capacity.
USDA will provide grants, loans, and technical assistance to create new meat and poultry processing capacity that will compete with the majors, forcing them to lower prices and provide farmers and ranchers with access to better options and fairer prices in local and regional food systems.
Anticipate shocks related to climate change by supporting farmers and ranchers from the effects of extreme weather.
To respond to the drought affecting farmers and ranchers throughout the West and Midwest, USDA will expand its Farm-Raised Livestock, Bees, and Fish Emergency Assistance Program (ELAP) to include the cost of transporting feed. , providing much-needed relief to affected cattle. producers.
Work with Congress to make livestock markets more transparent and fair.
Meat processors have enormous power to set prices, which are often set in opaque contracts that lock in independent livestock producers at prices that are not the product of free and fair negotiation. The Administration will work on legislation that improves prices in the livestock markets and facilitates the real negotiation of prices between livestock producers and processors.

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