According to a new report from the White House, President Biden understands that families have been facing higher prices at the grocery store recently. And half of those recent increases are from meat prices, specifically, beef, pork, and poultry.
While factors like increased consumer demand have played a role, the price increases are also driven by a lack of competition at a key bottleneck point in the meat supply chain: meat-processing. They note that just four large conglomerates control the majority of the market for each of these three products, and the data shows these companies have been raising prices while generating record profits during the pandemic.
Thus, the Administration is taking bold action to enforce the antitrust laws, boost competition in meat-processing, and push back on pandemic profiteering that is hurting consumers, farmers, and ranchers across the country. Gary Crawford has more details.
The report notes with just four firms controlling approximately 55-85% of the market for these three products, it gives them the power to squeeze both consumers and farmers and ranchers. During the pandemic, wholesale prices for beef rose much faster than input prices for cattle, meaning prices the processors pay to ranchers aren’t increasing, but the prices collected by processors from retailers are going up.
More details are available in the White House Report.