Ok, here’s how we fix it.
When the markets are gone, and the game of monopoly is over
The big-four meatpackers income will be regulated and limited to the drop credit value of the animals they slaughter.
The largest firms in all animal feeding, slaughter, meat processing, and all food distribution categories will be given two years to downsize to a level not to exceed seven percent for any one firm in the national market, assuring four-firm concentration, unless a public utility, does not exceed 28%.
In the interest of food sovereignty and food security, USDA, guided by a set of new policies, will facilitate the building of new local/regional food, and food related, infrastructure. Aggressive enforcement of the existing Packers and Stockyards Act and antitrust laws will protect the new investments and consumers from current market predators. Animals will once again be processed in owner/operated multi-species plants close to where they’re raised by a newly trained, more efficient workforce. Carcass break down and value-added processing will be done by skilled meat cutters in newly developed marketplaces near the consumer.
New policies designed to improve food safety, working environments, and animal welfare, will encourage a new decentralized regional carcass trade between small rural slaughter plants and independent owner/operated butcher shops, employing well-paid, skilled meat cutters.
In sharing equitably in the wealth created from a developing livestock centered, family farm agriculture, Rural America will begin to rebuild. Consumers everywhere will be able to depend on a healthier, higher quality, affordable, and safer food supply from many sustainable and resilient sources. Workers, and their valuable trade, will be respected and rewarded with living incomes.
With farm and ranch families returning to the land, stewardship and animal husbandry will guide the way to better resource management, soil health, and animal welfare. Rural communities and the environment will begin to recover from the decades of industrial ag’s mining operations.
“Walking backwards into the future”- welcome to 1970 when markets were competitive and America could feed itself.