Vilsack outlines transparency efforts to increase competition
The USDA has announced the first in a series of rules under the Packers and Stockyards Act to increase competition in agriculture and better support American farmers and ranchers.
“So that the grower is better informed before they enter into a contract before they make a capital investment,” he explains.
Poultry dealers who slaughter less than two million pounds per week are exempt from the rule if not requiring capital investments.
Vilsack says the agency is also sending a letter to seed companies clarifying transparency expectations and clarifying the domestic origin requirements in USDA’s feeding programs.
“We want to make sure that it is clear that when we talk about domestic origin, we’re talking about beef, pork, lamb, and bison that is born, raised and slaughtered in the U.S.,” he says.
Vilsack says another rule will be coming from the Food Safety and Inspection Service on ‘Product of USA’ labeling for additional clarification.
USDA is also appointing a Chief Competition Officer to oversee the enforcement of competition policy priorities at the Agricultural Marketing Service.
National Farmers Union President Rob Larew says the rule brings sorely needed transparency to livestock producers.
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Author: Nicole Heslip