National Farmers Union (NFU) released the following statement commending U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) for reintroducing legislation to ban packer ownership of livestock:
“The livestock market today is heavily concentrated among a handful of conglomerates, and our family farmers and ranchers are forced to compete in an increasingly uneven playing field in the marketplace. I applaud Senator Grassley for championing this important piece of legislation that places the family farmer first.
“Recent mergers and acquisitions – such as the mergers of JBS USA and Cargill pork divisions or Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands – have only advanced the concentration in the packing industry. When you concentrate livestock ownership among a few multinational firms, competition in the livestock sector is severely reduced and there’s a strong potential for market price manipulation. In addition, consumers are experiencing increased food costs at the grocery store while the family farmer is receiving pennies of every dollar spent on food.
“NFU will continue to advocate for opportunities to increase competition for our family farmers and ranchers, and we look forward to working with the Senator to move this legislation forward.”