supply chains

Mixed Response to Biden’s Meat Industry Action Plan

Brian GermanCattle, Hogs & Pork, Poultry

The latest action from President Joe Biden aimed at improving conditions in the meat industry is receiving mixed reviews from industry groups. The “Biden-Harris Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain” allocates $1 billion to expand independent processing capacity. Several industry groups commended the action plan, including the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), United States Cattlemen’s Association, and National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.

“AFBF appreciates the Biden administration’s continued work to ensure a fair and competitive meat processing system. We must get to the bottom of why farmers and ranchers continue to receive low payments while families across America endure rising meat prices,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said in a press release. “Farmers and ranchers want a fair shake. The joint initiative between USDA and the Department of Justice to create an online portal to report competition law violations, and efforts to strengthen the Packers & Stockyards Act, will go a long way to ensuring fairness in the industry.”

Meat Industry

The action plan is being touted as a means for diversifying meat and poultry processing capacity while increasing producer income. However, there are some in the meat industry that disagree with Biden’s approach to issues of inflation in food prices. President and CEO of the North American Meat Institute, Julie Anna Potts points to labor as being the most significant factor creating issues for meat and poultry production.

“Press conferences and using taxpayer dollars to establish government-sponsored packing and processing plants will not do anything to address the lack of labor at meat and poultry plants and spiking inflation across the economy,” said Potts. “The Administration wants the American people to believe that the meat and poultry industry is unique and not experiencing the same problems causing inflation across the economy, like increased input costs, increased energy costs, labor shortages and transportation challenges.”

About the Author

Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West