NCBA, NFU, NSAC praise meat processing program

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the National Farmers Union and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition have all praised the Biden-Harris administration’s announcement of more than $223 million in grants and loans to support small to mid-sized meat processing facilities.The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the National Farmers Union, which are at the opposite ends of the political spectrum, have both praised the Biden-Harris administration’s announcement of more than $223 million in grants and loans to support small to mid-sized meat processing facilities.
76911956-FA04-40B6-A8BD-FC251CD9B805Tanner Beymer
“NCBA has long advocated for expanded processing capacity to provide cattle producers with additional options for turning their cattle into high-quality beef,” said NCBA Senior Director of Government Affairs Tanner Beymer.“
Today, the cattle industry needs more targeted capacity in high-need areas, and we look forward to these facilities launching and expanding operations,” Beymer said. “We appreciate USDA working with NCBA to strengthen the marketplace and support America’s cattle producers.”
larewrob-2020Rob Larew
NFU President Rob Larew said, “For decades, consolidation in meat processing has put the squeeze on farmers, ranchers, and consumers while corporate monopolies rake in record profits.”
“Today’s announcement is another step toward putting control and profitability back in the hands of farmers, ranchers, and our communities,” Larew said. “More competition across the ag economy is a good thing and it’s great to see Secretary Vilsack and the administration making diversified, local and regional food systems a priority.”
D9C263C1-2926-49D0-8472-302ACA6E3577Connor Kippe
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) Policy Specialist Connor Kippe said the group “applauds these initial efforts to invest in our small and very small meat processing sector, and USDA’s dedication to integrating stakeholder input on these programs. In the future, we hope to see even greater alignment in supporting small meat processors across USDA’s agencies and services.”
But NSAC added, “At the same time that USDA’s Rural Development agency and Agricultural Marketing Service are focusing on distributing much needed assistance to small and very small processors, the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) has proposed a regulatory framework to continue to decrease the presence of salmonella found in poultry that may impose greater cost and logistical burdens on these small and very small processors.”
“While small and very small processors continue to champion food safety, they face unique constraints in adapting to new regulations given their lower personnel capacity and tighter budgets. Making sure that processors have both the capacity to respond to changes, and that FSIS acts proactively so as to ensure scale-appropriate regulations that do not create a disproportionate burden on small and very small processors, is key to the expansion and resilience of these businesses that are so vital to rural communities.“Continuing this expansion of markets and plant capacity programs are key to sustaining this investment, and helping processors reduce new food safety issues as they arise.”
–The Hagstrom Report