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Beef Buzz News


NCBA's Ethan Lane Heard Little New in White House Briefing on Competition

Fri, 10 Sep 2021 11:45:13 CDT

NCBA's Ethan Lane Heard Little New in White House Briefing on Competition Low sale prices of live-cattle and high prices for meat products in grocery stores have painted a large target on the Nation’s four largest meat packing companies. Earlier this week, from Briefing Room in the White House, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack told the nation the Biden-Harris administration, “is taking bold action to enforce the antitrust laws, boost competition in meat-processing, and push back on pandemic profiteering that is hurting consumers, farmers, and ranchers across the country.”

Today, Ethan Lane, vice president of government affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), spoke with Ron Hays about the statements from the White House that has much of the agriculture industry talking.

“I think the (statements) are a reflection of what we are hearing from producers,” Lane said. “This concern about consolidation and prices have dominated our conversations in the industry for the last couple of years.”

The NCBA has been working closely with the Biden-Harris administration. During an interview with us in mid-August, Lane said when it comes to legislation, Lane said it is the NCBA’s job to inform Congress. Well, it sounds like that work has paid off for the NCBA.

“I think the press conference was a re-statement of where (the administration) is going with this and where they’re placing their focus,” Lane said. “They’re looking for ways to provide relief (to producers).”

In response to statements from the White House, the North American Meat Institute said, “As with almost every industry, meat and poultry packers and processors of all sizes have been, and continue to be, affected by the global pandemic and the inflationary trends that challenge the U.S. economy. Issuing inflammatory statements that ignore the fundamentals of how supply and demand affect markets accomplishes nothing. Meat and poultry markets are competitive and dynamic with no one sector of the industry consistently dominating the market at the expense of another.”

“There is a lot going on,” Lane said. “I think that (the administration) wanted to cover all of these different areas that they’re working on.”

During the press briefing, Vilsack also commented on the Biden-Harris administration’s review of Made in USA labeling and the Packers and Stockyards Act. Lane said the NCBA sees Vilsack’s wide focus during the briefing as different components in the leverage conversation.   

Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from Ethan Lane as he interprets the latest from the White House.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.


   


   

Listen to Ron's conversation with Ethan here
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