R-CALF calls the White House action plan for the meat supply chain “progress”, but the group remains skeptical about the plan. The effort includes government funding intended to slowly rebuild the competitive marketing channels for cattle and beef, which has created what the administration calls a “bottleneck” in the nation’s food supply chain.
R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard said, “We recognize that this level of government involvement is unprecedented, and that it’s critical for reversing the decades of inattention.”
But Bullard says his group remains skeptical about the plan’s strategy for addressing decades of non-enforcement of U.S. antitrust laws and the 100-year-old Packers and Stockyards Act.
R-CALF has waited for years, and by 2019 “it was clear the government was disinclined to protect the cattle industry” from alleged packer buying practices. R-CALF alleged the practices were harming cattle producers in the group’s private antitrust lawsuit filed against the largest packers in April of that year.
“Our nation’s cattle industry is in a serious crisis and while we appreciate the Administration’s plans to write rules with which to implement portions of the Packers and Stockyards Act, correct the exploitive “Product of USA” beef label, and increase market transparency by requiring more information, as well as its attempt to identify any new, potential violations of competition laws, the fact remains that the Administration has not announced that it will take decisive enforcement action to protect America’s cattle producers from the harms they’ve been experiencing for the past seven years, and we remain disappointed with that omission,” Bullard concluded.
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