Legislation Introduced to Improve Meat Processing Capacity

Clint Thompson Alabama, Beef, Florida, Georgia, Industry

Beef displayed at a butcher shop.

Last week, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced the Requiring Assistance to Meat Processors for Upgrading Plants (RAMP UP) Act, which provides federal incentives to improve beef processing capacity.

The RAMP UP Act authorizes federal grants up to $100,000 for existing meat processors to become federally inspected. Currently, state inspected and custom exempt processors cannot sell meat in interstate commerce and the process to become compliant with, and inspected by, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is expensive and daunting.

According to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the RAMP UP Act will bolster market access for cattle producers and keep store shelves across the country stocked with wholesome and nutritious beef products.

“The COVID-19 pandemic caused unprecedented disruptions to beef processing which were devastating to cattle producers,” said NCBA Vice President Don Schiefelbein. “The RAMP UP Act addresses these supply chain issues by ensuring cattle ranchers and farmers have robust access to new markets regardless of where their livestock is processed. We are grateful to Chairman Peterson and Rep. Lucas for their leadership and attention to this critical issue.”

The legislation was introduced by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Colin Peterson (D-MN), Reps. Frank Lucas (R-OK), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Glenn Thompson (R-PA), Sanford Bishop (D-GA), David Rouzer (R-NC), Jim Costa (D-CA), Robert Aderholt (R-AL), and Angie Craig (D-MN).