UCS, NCBA support USDA meat processing loan guarantees | TSLN.com

UCS, NCBA support USDA meat processing loan guarantees

The Union of Concerned Scientists and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association are usually at odds, but on Monday both organizations issued news releases praising the $100 million loan guarantee program to help meat processors and improve the supply chain.

Rebecca Boehm, an economist with the UCS Food and Environment program, said, “Right now, it’s nearly impossible for small, independent or new meat and poultry processors to compete with corporate giants like Tyson, Pilgrim’s Pride, Perdue Foods or Sanderson Farms, which together account for 61% of chicken processing revenues nationally and even more market share in places like Arkansas. The new loan guarantees will help expand marketing opportunities for poultry farmers and livestock ranchers, provide new employment options for processing plant workers and give consumers more options to support local food systems.”

“Our No. 1 goal at NBCA continues to be opening up new opportunities for cattle producers to be profitable,” said NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane. “The pandemic accentuated a number of vulnerabilities within our supply chains — chiefly, the choke point at the meatpacking sector which has resulted in unsustainable prices for cattle producers and increased the cost of beef for consumers. Today’s announcement is another step toward returning stability to the markets, and NCBA urges USDA to announce eligibility requirements and application instructions as quickly as possible.”

–The Hagstrom Report

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