USDA Highlights Priority Concern for Compliance and Grower Rights

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published Transparency in Poultry Grower Contracting and Tournaments (the Transparency Rule) in the Federal Register November 28, 2023. The final rule, published under the Packers & Stockyards Act, requires Live Poultry Dealers (LPD) – typically large processing companies – to provide broiler chicken growers with key information about terms of their agreements. The final rule also requires additional disclosures by LPDs engaged in the production of broilers who use poultry grower ranking systems to determine settlement payments for broiler growers. The final rule becomes effective on February 12, 2024.

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on its website with additional questions and responses to assist stakeholders in complying with the Transparency Rule.

As live poultry dealers modify poultry growing arrangements consistent with this final rule, AMS will closely monitor modifications and may pursue regulatory action, when appropriate. AMS is interested in hearing more about contract modifications made pursuant to this final rule. Information can be submitted directly to AMS via the PSD Hotline at 1-833-Dial PSD (1-833-342-5773). Additional contact information is available on the AMS website. AMS also encourages growers to report any concerns with deception, unfairness, or otherwise immediately to AMS and the Department of Justice through farmerfairness.gov.

This rule is a transparency rule. It requires live poultry dealers to include minimum annual placements and minimum stocking density for each flock in the written broiler growing arrangement. Contract addendums pursuant to this requirement should be consistent with the intent of the original agreement. Contract modifications made to comply with this rule require agreement of the parties. As contract modification requires the assent of both parties, the rule does not require growers to accept contract modifications. AMS is closely monitoring implementation and compliance with the disclosures required in this rule to ensure that the transparency the rule is intended to poultry growing arrangements is realized.

In the updated FAQs, AMS provides additional responses and examples. The FAQs are posted on the Transparency in Poultry Grower Contracting and Tournaments webpage. AMS will continue to regularly update the FAQs based on requests for clarification from stakeholders through the AMS-AskPSD@usda.gov email. USDA established the email to encourage stakeholder feedback and provide answers to questions about the final rule.

More information about the final rule is available on the Transparency in Poultry Grower Contracting and Tournaments webpage.
The Packers & Stockyards Act is a fair-trade practice and payment protection law that promotes fair and competitive marketing environments for the livestock, meat, and poultry industries.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender
USDA Highlights Priority Concern for Compliance and Grower Rights