USDA Action to Promote Meat and Poultry Market Competition
USDA announced support, resources, and new rules that will strengthen the American food supply chain, promote fair and competitive agricultural markets, prevent abuse of farmers by poultry processors, and make prices fairer for farmers and American consumers. First, USDA announced a proposed rule under the Packers and Stockyards Act to protect poultry growers from abuse. USDA is also making available $200 million under the new Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program (MPILP) to strengthen the food supply chain and create opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs in rural communities. USDA also released a report on Promoting Competition in Agricultural Markets that details the Department’s strategy for promoting competition in agricultural markets—including not only actions and initiatives to promote competition in meat and poultry markets, but also other key agricultural sectors like fertilizer and seeds. Additionally, USDA announced plans to complete a top-to-bottom review of its programs to ensure they promote competition and announced that it will update guidance to strengthen the verification requirements for the most widely used “animal-raising claims” to ensure consumers are getting what they are paying for.