Create a free Feed & Grain account to continue reading

USDA proposes rule to enhance fairness in livestock and poultry

The proposed rule seeks to better protect farmers, ranchers, and other market participants by providing clearer enforcement measures.

Dairy Cow Black Background Pixabay

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a new proposed rule to create a fairer, more competitive, and more resilient meat and poultry supply chain. The proposed Fair and Competitive Livestock and Poultry Markets rule aims to address longstanding challenges related to interpretations of unfairness and competitive injury in the livestock, meat, and poultry sectors, thereby supporting farmers and growers and advancing President Biden’s goal of lowering food costs for consumers.

Secretary Vilsack's Announcement

Secretary Tom Vilsack made the announcement during an event at the Center for American Progress, highlighting the Administration’s agenda to create more affordable and competitive agricultural markets. The event showcased USDA’s progress in enhancing the Department’s ability to enforce the Packers and Stockyards Act, including previous rulemaking and an enforcement partnership with the Department of Justice. It also emphasized USDA’s successful efforts under the Investing in America Agenda to enhance independent meat and poultry processing capacity, expand domestic fertilizer production, create a fairer market for agricultural inputs, and support more robust and resilient supply chains.

Proposed Rule Highlights

The proposed rule aims to better protect farmers, ranchers, and other market participants by providing clearer enforcement measures for prohibitions on unfair practices under the Packers and Stockyards Act. It outlines tests and frameworks for unfair practices that harm market participants individually and those that harm markets overall. If finalized, the rule would enable USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service to ensure fair and competitive national livestock, meat, and poultry markets, allowing producers and growers to secure the full value for their products and services.

Public Comment and Regulatory Process

The proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register for public comment, allowing for a 60-day comment period. All comments submitted will be considered as USDA develops a final rule, which will also be published in the Federal Register.

This proposed rule is part of a series of USDA regulatory actions under the Packers and Stockyards Act aimed at enhancing transparency, stopping discrimination, and supporting market fairness in the livestock and poultry industries. Previous actions include proposed and final rules related to poultry grower payment systems, capital improvement systems, transparency in poultry grower contracting, tournaments, and inclusive competition, and market integrity.

The USDA’s proposed rule reflects a commitment to fostering fair and competitive agricultural markets and protecting the interests of farmers, ranchers, consumers, and smaller processors.

Page 1 of 336
Next Page