The National Farmers Union joined a coalition of 82 farmer, rural, and consumer groups, in sending a letter to the president, asking him to implement the Farmer Fair Practice Rules by executive order. The groups say those rules would provide basic protections for farmers and ranchers against unfair and abusive practices as a result of consolidation in agriculture marketplaces.
The letter says, as a result of massive consolidation, just four meatpacking companies control 85 percent of the marketplace, as well as 74 percent of the pork market and over half the poultry market.
Over the last four decades of consolidation, 90 percent of hog farmers and 41 percent of cattle farmers are now out of business. 71 percent of poultry growers now live below the federal poverty level.
National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says family farmers and ranchers simply don’t have any marketplace power. “Multinational and foreign corporations control our market prices, dictating much of what happens on our farms and ranches,” says Johnson. “We’re urging the president to take the first step in addressing these abusive practices by implementing the Farmer Fair Practice Rules.”
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.