Last week, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Justice (DOJ) launched a new tool where farmers and ranchers can anonymously report potentially unfair and anticompetitive practices in the livestock and poultry sectors. This can be done online at farmerfairness.gov.
“This new online tool will help USDA and the Justice Department address anticompetitive actions and create livestock and poultry markets that are fairer to our nation’s producers,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “I encourage producers who are aware of potential violations of competition laws to submit information to the portal so we can take appropriate action to create more competitive markets in the agricultural sector.”
Complaints or tips will go through a preliminary review by USDA Packers and Stockyards Division staff and Department of Justice staff. If a complaint raises sufficient concern under the Packers and Stockyards Act or antitrust laws, it will be selected for further investigation by the appropriate agency. This action may lead to the opening of a formal investigation.
Users can submit information under their names or may submit anonymous complaints. If a complainant provides their personal information, DOJ or USDA staff will only contact them if additional information is needed. To submit an anonymous complaint, users can provide information about the potential violation without including their names or contact information.
Producers can submit complaints or tips about potentially anticompetitive practices by emailing PSDComplaints@usda.gov, by calling 833-342-5773, or mailing Stop 3601, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, D.C., 20250-3601.