WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives’ Agriculture Committee plans to hold a hearing on April 27 regarding possible anti-competitive behavior by large meat packing companies and whether it causes increased beef prices for consumers.
Chairman David Scott (D-Ga.) will preside over the hearing and released the following statement after the announcement.
“It is well known that among the four companies that dominate this market, there have been a number of allegations and investigations,” Scott said. “It is critical that we find out if industry concentration and anti-competitive behavior is playing a role in inflating prices for consumers and preventing ranchers from receiving a fair price.”
After the announcement, the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) quickly responded to the latest hearing in the House regarding the meat industry.
“The Meat Institute and its members have already made themselves available to Chairman Scott and all Members of Congress on several occasions to help improve the understanding of the beef markets,” said Julie Anna Potts, president and chief executive officer of NAMI. “This hearing will be no different. The questions have been asked and answered.”
Seven hearings have been held regarding the meat and poultry markets including with the House Agriculture, House Judiciary, Senate Judiciary and Senate Agriculture Committees.
NAMI acknowledged that fed cattle prices in the fourth quarter of 2021 reached a seven year high.
“The Meat Institute will again provide the same facts for the record: the fundamentals of supply and demand explain the behavior of the beef and cattle market,” the trade association said. “The Meat Institute will again provide the same data from USDA and other government agencies demonstrating the market has behaved predictably based on the market circumstances.”
The House Agriculture Committee previously met in October 2021 dealing with the livestock industry in the United States.