Senate hearing on the meat supply chain
Competition in the meat supply chain is the subject of a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for Wednesday, and at least three Iowans will be in the chamber.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley calls the hearing “long overdue” because he says he has expressed strong reservations about the consolidation within the agriculture and ranching industry since. over 20 years. “We have two Iowans as witnesses and I look forward to their testimony,” Grassley said. “Family farmers are very important to rural communities across America. We have to keep the family farmer strong and from the point of view of the cattle feeders they are on life support.
The two Iowans who are due to testify are: Jon Schaben, owner of Dunlap Livestock Auction, and Shane Miller, president of the Fresh Meats group at Tyson Foods. Tyson joins JBS, Cargill and National Beef as the four biggest meat packers who Grassley says control 80% of the market.
“According to the US Department of Agriculture, for every dollar Americans spend on food, farmers only get 14.3 cents,” says Grassley. “In the meantime, the retail price of beef to consumers has increased and remains very high. The pandemic has brought to the fore the USDA’s inability to preserve our country’s beef supply chain, Grassley said, calling on the agency to be more engaged and aggressive in monitoring anti-competitive activity.
“I’m not upset that I pay more for my beef, but I’m upset that the farmers are not getting a fair price,” he says. The Senate hearing, titled “Strengthening Competition: Examining the US Food Supply Chain,” is scheduled for Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. PT.