A generation ago, the business of raising animals for food in America looked much like it had at the Founding – family farms, open and competitive markets, high standards, and a self sustaining national economy. Today, vast corporations rule almost every corner of the animal agriculture landscape, and these giants are increasingly controlled from foreign capitals. Some economists argue in favor of this new order of things, mainly claiming it is more “efficient.” But there’s also growing evidence that this top-down system can harm the well being of animals, the farmer, and the eater. Join New America’s Markets and Resiliency Program in an open discussion of the pros and cons of America’s new industrial meat system, and of cutting edge efforts to reform the worst practices.
Join the conversation online by using #MeatMonopoly and by following @NewAmerica.
Thursday, March 13, 2014 – 9:30am – 1:15pm
Food Safety, Country of Origin Labeling, Pricing and The Beef TaxFeatured Speakers:
Former Director of the Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration
Research Director, Food & Water Watch
Former VP of Procurement for Whole Foods,
Owner of Dino’s Grotto restaurant, in Washington, DC.
How Consolidation Affects the ANIMAL
Animal Welfare: Does Farm Size Matter?
C. Robert Taylor
Alfa Eminent Scholar and Professor of Agricultural Policy, Auburn University
Director, Animal Welfare Approved (AWA)
Former VP of Procurement for Whole Foods
Editor, Washington Monthly
The Humane Society’s New Alliance with Family Farmers
President, Humane Society of the United States
How Consolidation Affects the FARMER
The End of Markets and the Rise of Farmer vs. Farmer “Tournaments”
Chicken farmer, West Virginia
Renee L. Bowser
Assistant General Counsel, United Food Commercial Workers
President, the American Antitrust Institute
Tags:Albert Foer , Andrew Gunther , C. Robert Taylor , Christopher Leonard , Dean Gold , Dudley Butler , Katherine Mangu-Ward , Mardy Townsend , Mike Callicrate , Mike Weaver , Patrick Woodall , Paul Glastris , Renee L. Bowser , Siddhartha Mahanta , The Meat Racket , Wayne Pacelle
Farm & Food File | A syndicated column by Alan Guebert Early February was not a good time to be an American carnivore. First, on Saturday, Feb. 8, Rancho Feeding Co. of Petaluma, CA, announced it was recalling 8.7 million pounds of beef carcasses and cuts. That’s virtually every pound of the company’s 2013 throughput. The reason for the recall, explained the Feb. 11 Los Angeles Times, was that federal…Read more...
Looking back over 100+ years of family farm history, attitude, sympathetic lenders, luck, and most of all family relationships are what average farmers rely on for their survival. Corporate partnerships don’t have much to offer us. In governments eyes, bigger has always been better–even when bigger meant corporate control, more pollution, less competition, and higher costs. Realistically, even though US agriculture seems a national icon, corporations, some native to foreign…Read more...
The second “final” report on the USDA OIG Audit of the Beef Checkoff was released the end of January. An earlier seventeen page report was released in March of 2013 but was shortly withdrawn for “additional audit work” under withering charges of whitewash and cover-up. It was generally accepted that the audit was prompted by the disturbing findings in an Audit in 2010, ordered by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB)….Read more...
By Mike Callicrate | February 20, 2014 This week I’m taking a moment to observe the 10-year anniversary of the most important court case in the history of the U.S. cattle industry, while turning the last page on a powerful new book that tells in precise and riveting detail the sad story of why the lawsuit was so critically needed. Christopher Leonard’s new book, The Meat Racket – The Secret…Read more...
Under Siege: The U.S. Live Cattle Industry ACADEMIC JOURNAL ARTICLE By Bullard, Bill South Dakota Law Review, Vol. 58, No. 3 EXCERPT: Although the largest U.S. agricultural sector—the live cattle industry—is still comprised of hundreds of thousands of independent producers, it is currently on a trajectory to become a vertically integrated supply chain controlled by just a handful of dominant meatpackers. This is the fate already suffered by the nation’s…Read more...
Remember that kid on the playground, not the bully, but his smaller, weaker spokesman; that big-mouth side-kick that did most of the talking? Well some of these little rascals grow up, but never shut up. Some get paid for their lip bumping; others just talk because they love to hear the sound of their voice. Either way, they talk and talk and talk because they’re afraid to walk the walk. Steve…Read more...
As Big Food’s tentacles wind tighter around markets and governments, OCM fights on From seed to plate, a handful of global corporations have combined their power to extract unprecedented amounts of resources and wealth. Even Upton Sinclair* couldn’t have predicted that today our nation’s four largest meat packers would control over 85% of the market. Surely even he would be surprised to find the biggest companies in all three major…Read more...