R-CALF USA endorses Booker-Khanna cattle market bill

R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund United Stockgrowers of America) released the text of a bill to change the structure of the U.S. cattle market Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., a member of the House Agriculture Committee, introduced, and endorsed it.

R-CALF USA said the Protecting America’s Meatpacking Workers Act of 2021 “prohibits today’s ubiquitous formula contract, which requires cattle sellers to commit cattle to a packer without knowing even the base price the packers would use for determining the value of their cattle.”

“The act accomplishes this by requiring any contract that requires delivery of cattle more than seven days before slaughter to contain a base price that can be equated to a fixed dollar amount.”

R-CALF USA said the act also would

▪ Ban the nation’s largest packers from owning and feeding cattle more than 7 days before slaughter.

▪ Require each plant owned by the largest packers to purchase at least 50% of their cattle needs from the competitive cash market each day and to slaughter those cattle within seven days.

▪ Prohibit any conduct by the packers that adversely affects competition regardless of any business justification claimed by the packers.

▪ Clarify that a showing of harm to competition is not necessary for producers to protect themselves from anticompetitive conduct by the packers.

▪ Restore mandatory country of origin labeling (MCOOL) for beef and pork and adds dairy products.

▪ Empower producers to defend the competitiveness of their industry by authorizing the recovery of attorney fees in successful cases filed under the Packers and Stockyards Act.

“This new act is the ‘silver bullet’ we’ve been seeking to immediately fix the broken market and reverse the alarming contraction of the U.S. cattle industry,” said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard.

R_CALF USA has declined to endorse a compromise between a spot market bill introduced by Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Jon Tester, D-Mont., and another bill introduced by Sens. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

–The Hagstrom Report

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