Farmers Union emphasizes antitrust issues
The National Farmers Union’s vice president says bringing awareness about consolidation and monopolies in the food chain is a major issue they are focusing on right now. Patty Edelburg says, “The way it’s affecting agriculture, it’s huge. And, the fact that the pandemic brought so much of this out and brought it to light, it’s the perfect time right now to really start emphasizing antitrust.”
Edelburg tells Brownfield the pandemic, cybersecurity breaches, and natural disasters have shown the need to improve local and regional food production and get away from relying on a handful of companies. She is encouraged by some of the legislation that has been introduced in Congress. “There’s a bill out there to make sure that we start implementing a lot of this through the Packers and Stockyards Act. Based on the fact that it’s a bipartisan bill, hopefully that gains a lot more support in Washington DC.”
Edelburg says consolidation is not a new issue, but recent events have shown it is an important issue. “We’re planning on really trying to bring this to light and make not just the politicians in Washington DC see what’s happening, but have the general public realize what’s happening in this country when it comes to monopolies and the fact that there’s not a lot of competition in our marketplace.”
National Farmers Union recently submitted comments about the consolidation issues to USDA.