Last year the Departments of Justice and Agriculture held joint workshops to learn about the key competition issues facing the agriculture industry. The workshops offered a chance for people involved in the ag industry to voice their concerns and provide comment. Senator Chuck Grassley called the joint workshops – a strong signal that the two agencies were communicating about this important issue. Now, it’s time to take another step forward.
So in a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Senators Grassley and Patrick Leahy ask what next steps are planned by the Departments of Justice and Agriculture. The Senators wrote, – the agriculture industry has consolidated to the point where family farmers, independent producers and other smaller market participants do not have equal access to fair and competitive markets. Increased concentration in agriculture will lead to fewer product choices and higher product prices for the American consumer. Grassley and Leahy are respectively Ranking Member and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over federal antitrust policy.