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Biden to announce $1 billion for small meat producers to fight inflation

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In a virtual meeting with farmers, ranchers, and independent processors this afternoon, President Joe Biden will discuss plans to create a more competitive and resilient meat and poultry supply chain. The Biden administration is set to announce $1 billion to help independent processing capacity. 

According to a Fact Sheet released from the White House on Monday morning, the Biden-Harris Administration’s Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain will address inflation and the major monopolies in the food supply chain.

The Fact Sheet breaks down how the money will be spent overtime. 

  • USDA will provide gap financing grants totaling up to $375 million for independent processing plant projects that fill a demonstrated need for more diversified processing capacity.
  • USDA will deploy up to $275 million to provide loans and other support to businesses at rates and on terms that increase access to long-term, affordable capital.
  • USDA will spend $100 million to support development of a well-trained workforce.
  • USDA will provide $100 million in reduced overtime inspection costs to help small and very small processing plants keep up with unprecedented demand.
  • For a full break down of the cost of this initiative, read the Fact Sheet here.

In addition to the funding announcement, the Biden-Harris Administration has set out to define and change two major issues in the agriculture industry. Specifically, in 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration will address:

  1. New, stronger rules under the Packers and Stockyards Act.
  2. Issue new “Product of USA” labeling rules so that consumers can better understand where their meat comes from.

The funding for the action plan will come from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, the White House said.

However, the North American Meat Institute has previously stated their disapproval when the White House Economic Council blamed the meat and poultry industry for record inflation.

“The Economic Council continues to insist market structure is the reason for higher consumer prices of meat and poultry. In beef production for example, the same four firm concentration ratio has been operating in the market for nearly 30 years. Why the sudden inflation? The answer is consumer demand for meat and poultry products has never been higher. Members of the Meat Institute are producing more meat than ever before under extraordinary circumstances to keep our farm economy moving and to put food on American’s tables,” said Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts.

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