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Agricultural News

AFR's Scott Blubaugh Applauds New Action Plan for Meat and Poultry Supply Chain

Mon, 03 Jan 2022 18:46:39 CST

AFR's Scott Blubaugh Applauds New Action Plan for Meat and Poultry Supply Chain Today, President Joe Biden announced the Biden-Harris Administration’s Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain. A handful of American farmers, ranchers and independent meat processors attended the meeting.

Scott Blubaugh, president of American Farmers and Ranchers, was in attendance and spoke with KC Sheperd, director for Radio Oklahoma Ag Network afterward. He said Tom Vilsack, the U.S. secretary for agriculture and Merrick Garland, the U.S. attorney general, were also in attendance.

“We had a private meeting with the president on the market issue in the cattle business and the antitrust issues - the whole works,” Blubaugh said. “We heard some interesting things - things that I was a little shocked about but am grateful to hear.”

The Action Plan includes four core strategies for creating a more competitive, fair, resilient meat and poultry sector, with better earnings for producers and more choices and affordable prices for
Consumers. The first is a $1 billion investment of American Rescue Plan funds for the expansion of independent processing capacity.

“That was with a ‘B’ - one billion dollars,” Blubaugh said. “That is good news for farmers and ranchers who are really interested in marketing directly to consumers and restaurants and trying to cut out the Big Four (meat packers).”

Blubaugh said he was encouraged by Garland’s seriousness about enforcing antitrust laws and the allegations of anticompetitive behavior by a few large meatpacking companies. At this time, an investigation is ongoing with no findings announced yet.

“I am excited that this issue has reached the highest levels of government,” Blubaugh said. “The House and the Senate have legislation on this as well; we have all three branches of government working on this problem right now.”

Not only does this issue have the federal government’s attention, but it also has bipartisan support, according to Blubaugh.

“Ever since the pandemic started, it (brought) attention to how dysfunctional the market is,” Blubaugh said. “It is so refreshing to get folks at the top of the administration to recognize that this problem is farmer and rancher problem, but it is also a consumer issue.”

See the White House’s Action Plan fact sheet here.

Hit the LISTEN BAR below to hear KC Sheperd and Scott Blubaugh discuss the newly announced Biden-Harris Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain.



Listen to KC's conversation with Scott here.
right-click to download mp3


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