Washington, D.C. – Today the Biden administration announced details of an initiative to invest $223 million to expand meat and poultry processing capacity in the country, part of a White House plan to tackle rising consumer costs for meat and poultry.
In response, Food & Water Watch Managing Director of Policy Mitch Jones issued the following statement:
“This detailed initiative to expand and diversify the country’s meat processing capacity shows a desperately-needed commitment from the Biden administration to bring down unmanageable costs for families by confronting egregious corporate consolidation in the industry. Tackling the monopolistic market power of the biggest meat companies is critical to enabling an affordable, safe and sustainable regional food system throughout the country.
“Coupled with the strong rules from the administration for enforcing the Packers and Stockyard Act, as well as action by Congress to stop agribusiness mergers and reform our food system, this action will transform American agriculture for the benefit of families and farmers.”
A recent report from Food & Water Watch highlights the crushing implications for consumers, farmers and food workers of extreme corporate consolidation in the industry. Among the report’s findings:
- 83 percent of all beef is produced by just four processing companies;
- 65 percent of consumer grocery market share is held by just four retailers;
- 67 percent of crop seed market share is held by just four corporations.
Recommended policy prescriptions in the report include:
- Federal legislation like the Farm System Reform Act, which would ban new factory farms and the expansion of existing ones, and phase out the most egregious factory farm operations by 2040;
- Reinstating federal supply management programs for commodities, including price floors;
- Enacting through legislation a moratorium on corporate mergers in the food system;
- Redirecting public agriculture funding to encourage and support organic and regenerative farming practices.
Contact: Seth Gladstone – [email protected]