Food and Ag Watchdog Announces Priorities for a Fair Farm Bill

Corporate farm bill policy is hurting consumers and farmers

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Food System

Today the national advocacy group Food & Water Watch released its priorities for the 2023 Farm Bill. In recent years, consumers, farmers and the environment have suffered heavily at the hands of federal agriculture policy while the nation’s largest corporate agribusinesses have enjoyed skyrocketing profits.

Since the last farm bill’s passage in 2018, the monthly cost for a family of four on a “thrifty food plan” increased 50% and farmers’ share of the U.S. food dollar hit a historic low. In 2021, farmers took home 14.5 cents on every food dollar spent, the lowest in nearly three decades.

Meanwhile, corporate profits are booming. Since 2018, top meat and poultry companies WH Group (parent company of Smithfield), Perdue Farms, Tyson Foods and Cargill have seen revenue increases of 20, 21, 33 and nearly 44 percent, respectively.

Top Food & Water Watch policy priorities for a fair Farm Bill include:

  • Fix the federal farm safety net by reinstating supply management for commodities, expanding safety net coverage for more crops that directly feed people, and requiring farmers to implement organic practices to participate in safety net programs.
  • Redirect public funding to support organic and regenerative agriculture by increasing funding for regenerative practices and climate-resilient seeds and livestock breeds, closing “conservation” loopholes that fund factory farms, and rejecting false solutions.
  • Increase competition within the agricultural sector by finalizing strong Packers and Stockyards Act rules and enforcing antitrust legislation.
  • Invest in regional food hubs.

Read the full report and policy platform here.

Contact: Phoebe Galt, [email protected]