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For Immediate Release

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Press Release

Open Markets Welcomes White House Focus on Promoting Competition in Meat Industry

The Administration should further pursue fair competition rulemakings and enforce antitrust violations by meatpackers.
WASHINGTON -

Yesterday, President Joe Biden held a roundtable with farmers and ranchers to discuss efforts to promote competition in the meat-processing industry and reduce meat prices for consumers.

At the roundtable, the Administration announced that $1 billion in American Rescue Plan funds will be used to expand independent processing capacity in meat and poultry. The White House also released a plan to create a fairer meat and poultry supply chain, including issuing new rules under the Packers and Stockyards Act to strengthen enforcement.

President Biden instructed each member of his administration to use every power available to them to break the monopolists’ chokehold on America’s food systems. To that end, Open Markets looks forward to helping to ensure that: 

  • The Department of Agriculture uses its full authority under the Packers and Stockyards Act to protect farmers against manipulation and extortion by powerful middlemen. 
  • The Justice Department strongly punishes all violations of antitrust law by meatpackers, and moves beyond simple merger enforcement to a top-to-bottom restructuring of the industry as a whole. 
  • The Federal Trade Commission uses its full rulemaking authority to address unfair and dangerous abuses of power by food retailers and processors over America’s consumers, farmers, and workers. 

In response, Barry Lynn, executive director of the Open Markets Institute, issued the following statement:

“It’s long overdue that our leaders support America’s small- and medium-sized, independent ranchers, farmers, and farmworkers in their effort to take back control over our food economy from predatory monopolists. The President’s support for building a more diversified and resilient meat-processing system is powerful news for food security in this country and for every person concerned about inflation.

"We hope that today’s action marks a new investment by the government in the sort of upstart, local, people-run processing firms that serve farmers and eaters and drive innovation—and most importantly, to protect the well-being of food chain workers from the power of monopolists."

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The Open Markets Institute works to address threats to our democracy, individual liberties, and our national security from today’s unprecedented levels of corporate concentration and monopoly power. By combining policy, legal, and market structure expertise with sophisticated communications and outreach efforts, Open Markets seeks not only to hold today’s monopolies accountable for abuse of power, but to rebuild an economic system where progress is easier to achieve, because power is far more widely and equitably distributed

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