GIPSA releases new rules to govern market fairness
Last week, USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) released long-awaited rules governing fairness and competition in the livestock industry. The rules, meant to insure that consolidation in the packing industry doesn’t harm independent producers, met with swift reaction from industry groups and leaders. The regulations, which focus primarily on the poultry industry, are seen as somewhat arbitrary among many in the industry who say it isn’t the government’s job to dictate what constitutes “fair.”
The regulations, which were published in the Federal Register last week, are open for a 60-day comment period and are likely to be revised as the Department of Justice and GIPSA complete a series of workshops around the country to examine the state of the livestock and packing industries which have been criticized for increasing levels of concentration, which some producers claim creates anti-competitive business practices which can be used to single out producers unfairly. Those claims were particularly evident at a workshop for the poultry industry where many growers said they were at the mercy of poultry companies which they were dependent upon as contract growers.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the changes to the
See GIPSA on page 10