Calls for swift conclusion to the DOJ investigation into meatpackers continue


Calls for swift conclusion to the DOJ investigation into meatpackers continue

Lawmakers and cattle industry representatives continue to push the US Department of Justice to complete their investigation into the meatpacking sector.  The DOJ launched an investigation in May 2020 into the nation’s four largest meatpackers to find out whether or not anti-competitive practices have contributed to a persistent imbalance in the cattle markets. 

Ethan Lane with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says there’s a lot riding on the results of the investigation.  “We need to know as an industry what they have found,” he says.  “If they have found nothing, great, tell us that.  If they have found something, we need to know that, too.  There’s just too much happening in this space right now for that to be an unanswered question.”

A letter, sent earlier this week, from Republican Congressman Mike Guest of Mississippi and Democrat Congressman Darren Soto of Florida and a bipartisan group of 52 lawmakers was the latest call for the swift conclusion of the DOJ’s investigation. 

Lane tells Brownfield market volatility puts even more pressure on US cattle producers.  “There’s just so much concern and consternation out in the country from producers about what’s going on in their marketplace,” he says.  “And we keep seeing these black swan events and at every turn, when we have a black swan event, our producers get the short end of the stick.”

He says the lack of stability and profitability puts the entire beef supply chain at risk.