WASHINGTON – National Farmers Union (NFU) recently joined with five other organizations that represent cattle producers to agree to work jointly on issues in the cattle marketplace.
On Monday, May 10, 2021, member leaders of American Farm Bureau Federation, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Farmers Union, R-CALF USA, and the United States Cattlemen’s Association met in Phoenix, Arizona.
These groups convened at the request of Livestock Marketing Association to discuss challenges involved in the marketing of finished cattle with the ultimate goal of bringing about a more financially sustainable situation for cattle feeders and cow-calf producers.
“Unfair markets and a lack of competition in the beef industry has been extremely harmful to producers and consumers alike, especially during the last year,” said NFU President Rob Larew, who was among the participants in the meeting. “Many sectors within agriculture, including beef, are dominated by just a handful of multinational corporations. The time for action is long overdue, and NFU is glad to be a part of this effort to bring strong, swift, and meaningful reform.”
The group talked openly and candidly about a wide range of important issues facing our industry today, including but not limited to:
- Packer concentration,
- Price transparency and discovery,
- Packer oversight,
- Packers and Stockyards Act enforcement,
- Level of captive supply, and
- Packer capacity.
The group also agreed to take to their respective organizations for consideration these action items:
- Expedite the renewal of USDA’s Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR), including formula base prices subject to the same reporting requirements as negotiated cash and the creation of a contract library.
- Demand the Department of Justice (DOJ) issue a public investigation status report and as warranted, conduct joint DOJ and USDA oversight of packer activity moving forward.
- Encourage investment in, and development of, new independent, local, and regional packers.
This unprecedented meeting brought together diverse producer organizations to identify issues and discuss potential solutions. These issues and action item lists are not comprehensive, due to time constraints of this meeting. Attending organization representatives were pleased to have reached consensus on many issues and are committed to the ultimate goal of achieving a fair and transparent finished cattle marketing system.
—National Farmers Union
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