President Biden met with farmers, ranchers and independent meat processors to discuss the Biden-Harris Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain. The Action Plan includes four core strategies intended to create a more competitive, fair, resilient meat and poultry sector, with better earnings for producers and more choices and affordable prices for consumers.

The Biden Administration has been critical of the meat industry in the past. In a fact sheet, the White House says that a lack of competition hurts consumers, producers and the economy.

“Four large meat-packing companies control 85% of the beef market. In poultry, the top four processing firms control 54% of the market. And in pork, the top four processing firms control about 70% of the market. The meatpackers and processors buy from farmers and sell to retailers like grocery stores, making them a key bottleneck in the food supply chain,” the release states.

The Action Plan will reportedly do the following:

  • Dedicate $1 billion in American Rescue Plan funds for expansion of independent processing capacity.
  • Strengthen the rules that protect farmers, ranchers and consumers.
  • Work to increase transparency in cattle markets so that ranchers can get a fair price for their work.

As part of its work in the meat industry, the Biden-Harris Administration has announced plans to issue new, stronger rules under the Packers and Stockyards Act. The USDA has already begun work on three proposed rules to provide greater clarity and strengthen enforcement under the Act. It will also Issue new “Product of USA” labeling rules so that consumers can better understand where their meat comes from.

The Biden-Harris Administration will also work with Congress to make cattle markets fairer and more transparent. “The Administration is encouraged to see bipartisan legislation in the Senate by Senators Grassley, Fischer, Tester, and Wyden, and in the House by Representatives Axne and Feenstra, that seeks to improve price discovery in the cattle markets and facilitate actual negotiation of prices between livestock producers and packers,” the White House said. “We look forward to working with Congress on these important issues, and we hope that they will also look for ways to ensure farmers and ranchers have fair access to processing capacity.”

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