New USDA Rule to Improve Transparency and Equity in Poultry Market

USDA Press Release: See original at: http://snipurl.com/tj6i2

Release No. 0594.09 Contact: USDA Office of Communications (202) 720-4623

USDA FINAL RULE TO IMPROVE TRANSPARENCY AND EQUITY IN POULTRY MARKET

WASHINGTON, December 2, 2009 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) will publish a final rule tomorrow to increase fairness and equity in the poultry industry by amending regulations under the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 to provide poultry growers with new information and improve transparency in poultry growing arrangements.

“The Obama Administration is committed to ensuring that the marketplace for our farmers and ranchers is free from unfair and deceptive practices,” said Secretary Vilsack. “This new rule will provide much-needed information and basic protections for poultry growers that will enable them to make better business decisions and safeguard their livelihood.”

Under the new regulations, a poultry grower must be provided a true written copy of a poultry growing arrangement in a timely manner. The poultry growing arrangement must include information about any Performance Improvement Plans and provisions for written termination notices of the arrangement. And, notwithstanding confidentiality provisions, the rule allows growers to discuss the terms of poultry growing arrangements with designated individuals. The proposed rule was published August 1, 2007.

Failure to disclose certain terms in a poultry growing arrangement constitutes an unfair, discriminatory, or deceptive practice in violation of section 202 (7 U.S.C. 192) of the Packers and Stockyards Act.

The final rule becomes effective on January 4, 2010. A copy of the rule can be found at www.gipsa.usda.gov .

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