FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Laura Zaks
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Release: NSAC Celebrates Final Rule Promoting Transparency for Contract Poultry Growers
Washington, DC, November 8, 2023 – Today, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) celebrated Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for publishing the first of several expected final rules to modernize the century-old Packers and Stockyards Act: “Transparency in Poultry Growing Contracts and Tournaments.” The rulemaking process was set in motion as part of the Biden Administration’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy in 2021.
“This final rule is an important first step that will shed light on the opaque and unfair poultry tournament system to protect contract poultry growers,” said Billy Hackett, NSAC Policy Specialist. “Transparency is necessary in any supply chain as a bulwark against anticompetitive or harmful manipulation and abuse of workers – in this case, growers.”
The rule was first proposed in June 2022, followed by the customary public comment process. NSAC submitted a comment uplifting recommendations from the Campaign for Contract Agriculture Reform to strengthen the rule’s intended impact.
The Transparency in Poultry Growing Contracts and Tournaments Final Rule will require live poultry dealers to disclose critical information to poultry growers with whom they enter into contracts. These measures will be an important deterrent against anticompetitive practices in a highly consolidated industry, where poultry companies act as “integrators” that control the supply and quality of inputs (e.g., the quality of feed and chicks) and are known to manipulate these variables to punish growers who have spoken out against industry abuses. The final rule will take effect in February 2024.
Today, Secretary Vilsack also announced his intention to appoint a Chief Competition Officer at USDA to reinforce policy development and enforcement to advance fair competition. NSAC will continue to work with our members and allies to support and inform the ongoing PSA rulemakings, as we have for 15 years.
About the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is a grassroots alliance that advocates for federal policy reform supporting the long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities. Learn more: https://sustainableagriculture.net/