Industry consolidation squeezes prosperity out of the hands of independent American farmers.
The National Farmers Union (NFU) has proposed sensible policy recommendations to combat big ag consolidation. In combination with AFA legislation, these proposals have the potential to stem damages caused by this threat.
The NFU stands up for small American farmers. Like AFA, they fight injustice in the food system. That’s why they call out consolidation as being a serious obstacle. When large agribusinesses are allowed to monopolize the market, independent small farmers struggle to make a living in what are supposed to be free-markets that work for everyone.
In other words, consolidation – especially in commodity markets like chicken, beef, soy and corn – squeezes out family farmers.
“The farmer’s share of every retail dollar has fallen from 50 percent in 1952 to less than 16 percent today. “NFU Policy Brief: Consolidation
According to NFU, consolidation is most acute in meat and commodity grain production.
|In US markets, 4 firms control||Also, just 4 firms control|
|* 54 % of chicken processing|
* 66 % of pig packing
* 85 % of cow packing
|* 88 % of corn seeds |
* 80 % of soybean seeds
– NFU Policy Brief: Consolidation
Many of the companies controlling markets for farm inputs and commodities are vertically integrated, which means they control multiple stages of the supply chain, from inputs to production to distribution.NFU Policy Brief: Consolidation
NFU is exactly right to call out consolidation as a threat to American farmers. Fortunately, some federal prosecutors are looking into the problem, but it’s not enough.
AFA agrees with NFU Policy Recommendations. Further consolidation must be halted, and vertically integrated monopolies busted up.
But we say go one further: How about offering assistance to any farmers who want to get out from under the bootheels of big ag? How about helping farmers who find themselves stuck amidst heavily consolidated meat markets. How about we help them transition to growing, lucrative and sustainable production – like serving the healthy plant-based protein and specialty crops markets?
The At-Risk Farmer Legislation being proposed by AFA will do just that.
Are you a farmer who wants to transition? Contact AFA .