Senator Chuck Grassley says he will introduce legislation that would make it unlawful for a packer to own or feed livestock intended for slaughter. Grassley’s Packer Ban excludes single pack entities and packers that are too small to participate in the Mandatory Price Reporting program. The bill also exempts farmer cooperatives where the members own, feed, or control the livestock themselves.
Senator Grassley believes – the 2012 farm bill is a great opportunity to deal with vertical integration before it’s too late. Grassley says – outlawing packer ownership of livestock would make sure the marketplace works for the farmer just as much as it does for the slaughterhouse.
The CEO of a major slaughter house once told a group of farmers: You wonder why we own livestock? Well, we own livestock so that when prices are high we can kill our own and when prices are low we can buy from the farmer. Grassley says – this statement shows their intent and unfairness to the family farmer. Vertical integration leaves the independent producer with even fewer choices of who to buy from and sell to. And, it hurts the ability of farmers to get a fair price for their products.
NAFB News Service