The North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute), the largest and oldest trade association for packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal and turkey, today released the following statement regarding President Biden’s Executive Order calling for government interventions in the meat and poultry markets:
“President Biden’s executive order calling for USDA to change the Packers and Stockyards rules will have unintended consequences for consumers and producers,” said Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts. “Government intervention in the market will increase the cost of food for consumers at a time when many are still suffering from the economic consequences of the pandemic. These proposed changes will open the floodgates for litigation that will ultimately limit livestock producers’ ability to market their livestock as they choose. These proposals have been considered and rejected before and they are counter to the precedent set in eight federal appellate circuits.
“Meat and poultry markets are dynamic, a fact highlighted by the recent challenges attributable to labor shortages and the COVID pandemic and not market structure.
“The members of the Meat Institute – and their livestock suppliers – benefit from, and depend on, a fair, transparent and competitive market. The North American Meat Institute is prepared to discuss these issues and work with the Administration and the Congress on the issues facing the industry.” Part of the Executive Order is a USDA review of the “Product of USA” label. The Meat Institute will participate in the rulemaking process.
For a more comprehensive picture of the dynamic and growing beef industry and an analysis of rhetoric surrounding oversight of the market, antitrust issues and the market forces at play , please see the Meat Institute’s written testimony submitted to the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry for a hearing entitled, “Examining Markets, Transparency, and Prices from Cattle Producer to Consumer.”
For additional information about beef markets see the Meat Institute’s Facts about Common Meat Market Myths and the Meat Institute’s comments submitted earlier in response to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s request for comments on efforts to improve supply chains for the production of agricultural commodities and food products. The Meat Institute has several resources about beef markets here. And for more on the pandemic and its effect on the meat and poultry industry, go here.