Box beef is skyrocketing as the bottleneck at packers continues, though some relief may come after Trump declared packers essential to keep their doors open. Hopefully, they’ll be running at capacity soon so producers see some relief on the horizon.
–ShayLe Stewart, DTN Market Analyst
R-Calf’s mandatory country of origin labeling petition has gained 250,000 signatures in just seven days
- R-Calf’s MCOOL petition was launched last Thursday, 7 days ago, and has already gained 250,000 signatures.
- This petition is urging President Trump and Congress to immediately pass MCOOL for beef, pork, and dairy products.
- Bill Bullard, R-Calf’s CEO, thinks reinstating MCOOL will strengthen national food security and help stimulate economic growth.
- Kerry Cranton, Kansas cattle producer who, among several other grassroots cattle producers, was instrumental in launching the petition. “There is a handful of very powerful lobbying groups that have held the President and Congress at back on this critically important initiative and our petition clearly shows that our government has been misled.
- Last month R-Calf launched a new website, usabeef.org, a free platform for cattle ranchers and farmers who raise and sell cattle or beef that is exclusively USA born, raised, and harvest directly to consumers. This website is rapidly growing; it includes 335 farms, ranches, and businesses from 41 states.
Bipartisan pair of senators request antitrust probe into meatpacking industry;
- A pair of bipartisan senators are currently requesting an antitrust probe into the meatpacking industry.
- Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri and Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin have asked the Federal Trade Commission to open an antitrust investigation into the meatpacking industry and it’s potential to cause significant disruptions in the food supply chain.
- The senators noted that the beef industry is dominated by Tyson Foods, Cargill, JBS, and Smithfield Foods.
- “Following a series of COVID-19 infections among plant workers, in recent days these oligopolistic companies have closed three pork plants indefinitely, resulting in the shutdown of a staggering 15 percent of America’s pork production,” the senators wrote to the FTC.
- This letter comes a day after President Trump signed an executive order to keep processing plants open in an effort to prevent further disruptions of the food supply.
- Both senators urged the president to exercise the same authority to investigate the growing concentration in the meatpacking and processing industry and any anticompetitive behavior resulting from this concentration.
South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association spokesman Eric Jennings said “It’s a terrible situation that we’re in with packer concentration. It’s a poor system, but I don’t know that there is any illegal wrongdoing. They have put themselves in a good position,” he said. The South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association joined 22 other state cattle organizations to ask the Department of Justice to get involved in the USDA investigation into packer buying activity in recent weeks. Tri-State Livestock News will provide more complete coverage of that story this week.
Smithfield plants in Missouri, Wisconsin and South Dakota that have closed due to coronavirus outbreaks.