Peel: consolidation concerns are not new
The White House says consolidation in meat processing is leading to higher prices in the grocery store.
But, Oklahoma State Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist Derrell Peel says consolidation concerns are not new.
“Producers have been talking about packer concentration and market power for over 100 years,” he says. “The structure of the industry has not changed appreciably in the last 30 years so nothing is really different now in that respect.”
He tells Brownfield the higher prices are “symptoms” of other issues in the industry.
“We have lots of research that shows we don’t have fundamental pricing issues in the fed cattle industry, we don’t have fundamental market power issues,” he says. “I hope the administration will really take stock of the research that’s out there and take a measured and fairly deliberate approach to this before we do anything that is a knee-jerk reaction.”
In an interview with Brownfield at the recent Stockmanship and Stewardship event in Indiana, Peel said this period of volatility created by the pandemic and other “external events” has created challenges for producers.