WASHINGTON – In less than three weeks, a rule to protect family farmers and ranchers from the worst abuses of concentrated markets will go into effect, barring any setbacks from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
On the heels of a listening session on regulations hosted by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, National Farmers Union (NFU) and the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) are calling on Secretary Perdue to allow the one of the Farmer Fair Practices Rules, an interim final rule on “competitive injury,” to be finalized. The two national organizations released the following statement:
“This month, family farmers, ranchers and growers will finally receive the most basic, commonsense protection against abusive practices that occur as a result of extremely consolidated market power in the beef, pork and chicken industries.
“For the past seven years, the USDA has written, solicited comment, and rewritten, this ‘competitive injury’ rule and associated rules several times, only to have industry groups funded by the meatpacking conglomerates stall their progress through backchannel legislative and regulatory means. The rule is a clarification that is required for family farmers to remain protected under the Packers and Stockyards Act.
“NFU and USCA appreciate Secretary Perdue’s willingness to engage with family producers and advocacy groups on this issue through yesterday’s listening session. We urge the Secretary to stand up for American family farmers, ranchers and independent producers by allowing this rule to be finalized.”