Articles: DOJ & USDA Consider Ag Consolidation and Antitrust Issues

Farmers Speak Out for Fair Competition at DoJ-USDA Workshop (NSAC)

EXCERPT: Farmers and ranchers spoke out loudly and clearly about the need for fair competition during the fifth and final US Department of Justice-USDA workshops on Concentration and Regulatory Enforcement in Agriculture on Wednesday, December 8.  The focus of this DC workshop was the negative impacts on farmers and ranchers arising from the drastically shrinking number of buyers for their products. The workshop also took a close look at the market power exerted throughout the food chain by large food retailers, especially Walmart.  Walmart is known for the tactics it uses to push down the price of products provided by suppliers, who in turn have the market power to push down the price at the farmgate in order to raise their own profits.   The result is often a growing spread between the prices paid by consumers and the prices paid to farmers.

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Antitrust Changes Promised by DOJ, USDA Producers Say They Want Fair Share of the Pie (DTN Progressive Farmer)
By Linda H. Smith

EXCERPT: Under pointed questions in a press conference this morning, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack declared that the Department of Justice – U.S. Department of Agriculture workshops on antitrust enforcement and consolidation in agriculture are not just a handholding exercise to make small farmers feel better. Action already is taking place and more changes are coming, he said.

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