NSAC's Blog

DOJ/USDA Announce May 21 Workshop on Competition in the Poultry Sector

May 16, 2010

The Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Agriculture have announced the schedule and panelists for the May 21, 2010 joint workshop on competition and regulatory issues in the poultry sector.  The workshop will be held in Normal, Alabama at the Ernest L. Knight Reception Center at Alabama A & M University from 9 am to 5:15 pm.  Those planning to attend should register at the workshop website.

NSAC is pleased to see that two of the Workshop panels will include poultry growers.  A morning panel includes a discussion among current growers, former growers, and government officials on poultry contract terms and control of inputs that affect grower compensation by the large poultry processor-contractors.  Also on the panel is Genell Pridgen of Rainbow Meadow Farms in Snow Hill, North Carolina, a farm that has been in her family for seven generations.  Currently, Genell, her husband, children, and parents live and work on the farm.  They have transitioned from tobacco and poultry contract production to raising pastured livestock and poultry, which are direct marketed.  Genell will address the effects of the concentration of processing companies on independent poultry producers.

A second panel includes poultry growers, academics, poultry processors and others who will address changes in poultry production and enforcement under the Packers & Stockyards Act.  The Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI-USA) website for Contract Agriculture Reform has detailed information and factsheets on the problems facing contract poultry growers in dealing with large vertically integrated poultry processors.

Additional information, including submitted public comments and transcripts for past workshops and information on future workshops can be found at the Department of Justice Antitrust Division’s agriculture workshop website.  While no streaming webcast will be available, transcripts will be available for May 21 workshop at a later date on the Antitrust Division’s website.  Individuals seeking more information on the workshops should contact agriculturalworkshops@usdoj.gov.

Categories: Competition & Anti-trust

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