By: Pan Demetrakakes, Senior Editor
The Biden administration has announced a $650 million initiative by the USDA to help the U.S. meat industry and spur competition in the meat and poultry market.
The USDA programs are intended to alleviate the effects of extreme concentration in U.S. meat and poultry processing. “Dominant companies can use their power to engage in abusive practices and make it harder for farmers, ranchers, and consumers to get a fair price,” USDA said in a statement, noting that farmers’ share of every dollar spent on food has declined from 35 cents in the 1970s to around 14 cents in recent years.
The initiative will comprise:
- $500 million allocated through USDA’s Build Back Better program, to be used to support new meat processing facilities;
- $55.2 million for inspection readiness grant, to be used to maintain strong inspection and safety standards;
- $100 million for small meat processors to alleviate the cost of overtime inspection fees related to the pandemic.
The programs are part of Build Back Better, the USDA’s overall $4 billion initiative to strengthen America’s food supply chains.
USDA also promised to review how “Product of USA” can permissibly be applied to meat products, although it stopped short of saying that it will require such products to be made from American-bred animals.
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Content Written on July 23, 2021.