Release: New USDA Proposed Rule to Give Livestock and Poultry Growers Fair Shake

Release: New USDA Proposed Rule to Give Livestock and Poultry Growers Fair Shake

October 3, 2022

For Immediate Release

Contact: Laura Zaks

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition


Tel. 347.563.6408

Release: New USDA Proposed Rule to Give Livestock and Poultry Growers Fair Shake

Reforms Will Protect Producers from Anticompetitive Discriminatory and Predatory Practices

Washington, DC, October 3, 2022 – Today, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition applauded Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for the publication of a brand new proposed rule to modernize the century-old Packers and Stockyards Act: “Inclusive Competition and Market Integrity Under the Packers and Stockyards Act.” This is the second of three anticipated guidelines first introduced in President Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition within the American Economy and arrives on the heels of a proposed rule to deliver transparency to the poultry event system revealed in June. 

“The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) applauds the swift and decisive motion demonstrated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to publish the second of three anticipated guidelines to strengthen the Packers and Stockyards Act (PSA),” mentioned NSAC Policy Specialist, Billy Hackett. “The weakened enforcement of antitrust and honest competitors legal guidelines over the previous 50 years has left livestock and poultry producers trapped in an anticompetitive market, typically victims of retaliation or in any other case predatory conduct wielded by unchecked company packers. This proposed rule can cease the worst of that exploitation.”

The proposed rule is a wanted test on a harmful closing rule issued by the Trump Administration in 2020. Despite the intention of the PSA to stop company integrators from giving unwarranted benefits or disadvantages to growers who produce the identical kind and high quality of livestock or poultry in the identical relative geographic space, the Trump-era rule creates a blanket protection for company integrators within the poultry, hog, and beef markets on the expense of small-scale or contracted producers, permitting packers to justify any motion as a “cheap enterprise resolution.” 

“The proposed ‘Inclusive Competition and Market Integrity Under the Packers and Stockyards Act’ rule partly outlines protections in opposition to discrimination and retaliation for ‘market susceptible’ livestock and poultry growers,” added Hackett. “That is a shift from USDA’s previous makes an attempt to guard producers beneath the PSA on the idea of protected class, and whereas it warrants additional examination the excellence seems to solid a broader web of wanted safety over all people trapped on this anticompetitive cycle. It is time that livestock and poultry producers lastly get the honest shake lengthy promised.

In full, the latest proposed Packers and Stockyards Act rule intends to:

  • Prohibit disadvantages and opposed actions in opposition to “market susceptible people” who’ve been topic to or are at heightened danger of differential remedy in related markets as undue prejudice;
  • Prohibit retaliation in opposition to producers that intrude with lawful communications, assertion of rights, associational participation, and different protected actions as unjust discrimination;
  • Prohibit regulated entities from using pretexts, false or deceptive statements, or omissions of fabric details in contract formation, contract efficiency, contract termination, and contract refusal as misleading practices; and
  • Require recordkeeping to help USDA monitoring, analysis, and enforcement of compliance with points of this rule.

NSAC will proceed to work with our members and allies to help and inform the continued PSA rulemakings. Attempts to strengthen PSA have spanned the final decade, prompted by a 2008 Farm Bill mandate to publish guidelines to raised outline prohibited practices to facilitate the enforcement of key provisions, however till now they’ve been obstructed and largely unsuccessful. 

USDA is searching for public feedback on the proposed rule, together with perception on who needs to be thought of “market susceptible people.” The remark interval ends in 60 days, on December 2, 2022. Submit your remark as a person or on behalf of a corporation right here. 

Click right here to learn extra about wanted livestock consolidation and focus reforms on the horizon. 


About the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is a grassroots alliance that advocates for federal coverage reform supporting the long-term social, financial, and environmental sustainability of agriculture, pure sources, and rural communities. Learn extra and become involved at: https://sustainableagriculture.web 

Press Releases, Sustainable Livestock