The Senate Judiciary Committee isn’t usually hearing about supply and demand, marketing agreements or the economics of beef production. That was the case Wednesday when lawmakers learned about cattle markets and consolidation in the beef industry. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is a longtime critic of the concentration seen in the meatpacking business. Grassley said formula pricing may offer advantages to some cattle producers, but there is no price transparency. “Captive supply is unfair and anticompetitive when packers use these type of arrangements to fill their needs and small producers can’t get a bid for their fed cattle.” Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar said concerns about anticompetitive business practices go well beyond the meat industry. “In addition to meatpacking and retail, we have seen a handful of large companies dominating food-related markets such as corn and soybean seed, fertilizer, pest control, farm equipment, food distribution and food manufacturing.”
Subscribe to RRFN
Get a weekly digest from RRFN to stay up-to-date on all the latest news in agriculture.