U.S. to Fund Competition in Meat & Poultry

Jan. 3, 2022
The Biden administration is announcing a plan to increase competition in the meat & poultry sector, primarily by funding competitors.

The Biden administration is announcing a plan to increase competition in the meat & poultry sector, primarily by funding competitors to the big processing companies that dominate the market.

President Biden was scheduled to meet on Jan. 3 with “farmers, ranchers, and independent processors from across the country” to announce “the Biden-Harris Administration’s Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain,” according to a White House release.

Much of the plan will focus on encouraging smaller meat and poultry processors through various forms of funding, including: $375 million for independent processing plants, with $150 million dedicated to 15 projects this spring; up to $275 million to encourage lenders to make loans to small processors; $100 million for worker training; and $100 million worth of forgiveness for smaller companies’ overtime and holiday inspection costs, which processors normally have to pay to the USDA.

Other measures will include: a new portal, to be launched in 30 days, for reporting violations of competition laws; new market reports, which the USDA started issuing in August, to provide ranchers with better information about beef prices; and clarifying that meat packaging cannot say “Product of USA” unless the meat comes from animals that were born and raised in America.

“Over the last few decades, we’ve seen too many industries become dominated by a handful of large companies that control most of the business and most of the opportunities—raising prices and decreasing options for American families, while also squeezing out small businesses and entrepreneurs,” the White House said in its statement.

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