The Organization for Competitive Markets applauds President Joe Biden’s executive order to increase fairness, competition, and transparency within agriculture markets.  

These Biden Administration directives will initiate long-overdue support for producer rights in marketing and consumer choices at the marketplace. The President’s order, coupled with Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack’s commitment to invest $500 million for new independent packing infrastructure, signals a new beginning in fairness for livestock producers and breaking up the current corporate stranglehold on American agriculture.

Fair contracts

In the order, the President directs USDA to consider issuing new rules under the Packers and Stockyards Act making it easier for farmers to bring and win claims, stopping chicken processors from exploiting and underpaying chicken farmers, and adopting anti-retaliation protections for farmers who speak out about bad practices.

Country of origin

The President directs USDA to consider issuing new rules defining when meat can bear “Product of USA” labels so that consumers have accurate, transparent labels that enable them to choose products made here.

Buying from the farm

In addition, the President directs USDA to develop a plan to increase opportunities for farmers to access markets and receive a fair return, including supporting alternative food distribution systems like farmers markets and developing standards and labels so that consumers can choose to buy products that treat farmers fairly.

Right to repair

President Biden also encourages the FTC to limit powerful equipment manufacturers from restricting people’s ability to use independent repair shops or do DIY repairs—such as when tractor companies block farmers from repairing their own tractors.

New processors

Recently, in addition to President Biden’s directive, USDA Secretary Vilsack announced the availability of $500 million for making investments in meat processing and for developing strategies to ensure the investments effectively jumpstart and sustain competition over the long haul. 

OCM supports the building of new independent packing and processing infrastructure to ensure producers have marketing options and consumers have full shelves, unlike the recent “Black Swan” events which created processing interruptions.

These Biden Administration directives and committed resources for rebuilding infrastructure and strengthening producer’s rights in marketing are long overdue and OCM stands ready to assist in the fruition of these platforms for returning fairness to our industry.

OCM has long been invested in seeking fair and competitive markets for producers and consumers alike.

By OCM President Vaughn Meyer

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