The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announcement a new loan guarantee initiative to raise funds for small and medium-sized meat and poultry processors and increase competition in the industry.
In July, President Biden signed a Executive Decree promote competition in various industries by tackling consolidation and concentrated market power that hurts farmers. A recent report by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) revealed that in Arkansas, a key poultry processing state, industry concentration has tripled over the past three decades as Tyson Foods has grown to control about two-thirds of chicken processing. The next competitor represents only eight percent of the salary.
Below is a statement from Rebecca Boehm, UCS Food and Environment Program Economist.
“Right now, it’s nearly impossible for small independent or new meat and poultry processors to compete with giants like Tyson, Pilgrim’s Pride, Perdue Foods or Sanderson Farms, which together account for 61% of processing revenues. chicken nationwide and even more market share. in places like Arkansas. The new loan guarantees will help expand marketing opportunities for poultry and livestock producers, provide new employment options for workers in processing plants, and give consumers more options to support local food systems.
“Bills such as the 2021 law on strengthening local processing and the law on agricultural resilience would do more to support small and medium-sized meat and poultry processors and increase funding for processing infrastructure. small-scale meat and poultry. “