This morning, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) announced it will withdraw the Farmer Fair Practices Interim Final Rule and take no further action on the proposed rule, Unfair Practices and Undue Preferences in Violation of the Packers and Stockyards Act. Thus far, no action has been announced regarding the proposed rule, Poultry Grower Ranking Systems. Family farmers and ranchers have fought for the enactment of these marketplace safeguards for nine long years.
The Interim Final Rule was set to go into effect this Thursday, and would have restored the rights of farmers and ranchers who are harmed by a meat packing or processing company’s anti-competitive and unfair practices. Under this rule change, an individual farmer or rancher would no longer have had to demonstrate that the entire U.S. market was affected by unfair practices inflicted on him or her and would have been able to seek a fair remedy.
OCM President Mike Weaver said, “This withdrawal is a slap in the face to rural America and America’s farmers and ranchers. The administration is allowing multinational corporations led by foreign interests to hold America’s farmers and ranchers hostage with their monopolistic, retaliatory and predatory practices. The GIPSA rule represented a desperately needed change for farmers and ranchers and we are appalled that the administration would choose to support multinational corporate interests over those of our own farmers and ranchers, especially after campaigning on a promise to drain the swamp and Make America Great Again.”
It’s never over until it’s over. Since the USDA cannot get the job done, we are reaching out to our membership and our collaborators to call on President Trump to issue an executive order to immediately implement the rules. Please lend your name to this effort by signing up here.
We will stay in touch as this issue continues to unfold.
Thanks for all you do,
Director of Communications and Research
Organization for Competitive Markets