GIPSA rule supports family farmers

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GIPSA rule supports family farmers

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Summary

Small farmily farmers and ranchers who supply sustainably raised meat are under threat from corporate meat packers. The USDA's GIPSA rule protects them from price fixing from the packers who control market access. CivilEats.com, the national food issue blog, runs my piece today on how farmers are fighting to keep their businesses alive and supply consumers with meat from small farmily farms. Consumers can comment up to November 22nd.

Friday, October 29, 2010 - 8:00am

CONTENT: Blog

  By Haven Bourque

The USDA has a law on the books that levels the playing field between family farmers who raise cattle, hogs and poultry and the large meat packers who purchase their livestock and bring it to market. It’s called the Packers and Stockyard Act, and its overseen by the USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard Administration or GIPSA. But don’t tussle with that mouthful because it doesn’t explain what you need to know about the complex livestock market system. Just keep reading. GIPSA makes sure small producers have equal access to market that larger producers do. It’s fair competition, which is, of course, the American way.

Sounds great, right? And just in time for the good food revolution. But instead, this law has been gathering dust because the USDA hasn’t enforced it. New proposed rules (previously covered here on Civil Eats) amending the act would prevent large meat packers from artificially lowering the price of cattle, hogs and lamb. But four companies control over 80 percent of the U.S. meat market, and these “Big Four” are fighting an effort to strengthen the rule.

Click here to read the rest of Haven's blog at CivilEats.com

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Contact

Haven Bourque
HavenBMedia.com
http://www.havenbmedia.com
http://www.landstewardshipproject.org
Rhonda Terry
http://www.landstewardshipproject.org
Keywords: CAFO | GIPSA | Grain Inspection | Packers and Stockyard Act | Packers and Stockyard Administration | USDA | factory farming | family farms | meat | sustainable agriculture

CONTENT: Blog