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Beef Buzz News


NCBA Continues to Work to Increase Transparency, Fairness of Cattle Markets

Thu, 30 Dec 2021 11:33:32 CST

NCBA Continues to Work to Increase Transparency, Fairness of Cattle Markets The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association year-end review covered an ongoing issue spotlighted by the ongoing global pandemic. After two significant blows to the beef packing industry, first with the Tyson beef packing plant fire in Holcomb, Kansas in 2019 and the beginning of the pandemic months later, beef prices soared to record levels while live cattle prices fell.

While some experts have said the issue stems naturally when supply and demand are skewed, others have cried foul, calling for an investigation to examine whether any packers violated the Packers and Stockyards Act by taking advantage of the situation through price manipulation, collusion, restrictions of competition or any other unfair practices. The investigation is ongoing.

Ethan Lane, vice president of Government Affairs for the NCBA, laid out the lack of transparency and fairness in cattle markets throughout the last couple of years.

“We continue to have a really robust dialog with the administration on things like packing capacity as we monitor some of those funds that are going to be coming out soon,” Lane said. “Focusing on new packing capacity opportunities. We are continuing to reiterate the message that we need to diversify and regionalize packing capacity.”

Right now, the four largest beef packing companies control about 70% of the total U.S. beef production. COVID-19 showed Americans how delicate their food supply chain was. In response, there has been a push to localize and regionalize beef processing plants.

“We are pleased that we have seen from (the United States Department of Agriculture) so far a focus where our focus is on some of that regional processing capacity,” Lane said. “We are excited to hear more from them.”

While the cattle industry works toward increasing transparency and fairness for producers, the NCBA continues to explore ways to increase robust price discovery.

Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from Ron Hays and Ethan Lane as they talk about the lack of and work to get more transparency in the processing link of the beef supply chain.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.


   


   

Listen to Ron's conversaiton with Ethan here.
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