On Monday, Joe Biden said that the Government will be issuing new regulations in the US meat industry. Around one billion dollars has been allocated to aid in the growth of self-sustaining ranchers and meat processors this year. These steps have been taken in order to combat the supremacy of a handful of companies in the US meat industry.
Recently, concerns over the US Meat Industry’s lack of competition have arisen. A few corporations are dominating the entire US meat market – poultry, pork, and beef. This puts them at liberty to control the market and maximize their returns.
US Meat Industry Being Dominated And Exploited
Biden stated that exploitation occurs when there is no competition in a capitalist market and the same is being observed in the US poultry and meat market right now. As per an evaluation conducted by the White House in December, it was highlighted that four main corporations hold control over the US meat market, between 55 percent to 85 percent of the entire market. A 120 percent jump was observed in the profits of these meat companies since the start of the pandemic.
Tom Vilsack, the Secretary of Agriculture, stated at the same event that the US Agriculture Department has planned to use the one billion dollars for the expansion of the domestic meat processing industry. The plan also extends to the granting funds for loans, financing, and training of workers.
Further, there are plans to reinforce the Packers and Stockyards Act. It includes clarifying the exact definition of “Product of USA” tags which are currently being misinterpreted and misused by corporations. Big companies raise their cattle outside the US and then transport them to the country for slaughter. The tag is then slapped onto the ready product. Small independent ranchers in the US meat industry have often raised their voices against this malpractice.
The plan was met with criticism from the US meat industry who claimed the evaluation done by the White House was “inaccurate”.