Biden officials are concerned about rising meat prices
Officials from the Biden administration on Wednesday expressed concern about the rising prices of meat in grocery stores and outlined what steps officials are taking to reduce the burden on families and farmers.
Attending a White House briefing, Brian Deez, director of the National Economic Council, said rising prices for meat products – poultry, beef and pork – accounted for half of food prices. Deez noted that while four companies control meat supply chains, those companies make record or near-profit during coronavirus outbreaks. Those companies are JBS, Tyson Foods, Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation and National Beef Packing Company.
“When you look at that level of consolidation and the increase in prices, it raises concerns about the profits of the epidemic, the companies that raise prices that hurt customers who go to the price shop and hurt consumers who don’t actually benefit. Producers, farmers and pastoralists who are increasing production, ”Deese told reporters.
To overcome the rise in prices, the Department of Agriculture plans to invest 1.4 billion in relief efforts to provide relief to small producers, processors and distributors. The USDA and the Department of Justice are also conducting a joint investigation into price-fixing in the poultry-processing industry.
To address the effects of the drought on meat prices, the USDA is also expanding emergency assistance for the livestock, bee and farm-raised fish program to help cover transportation costs for feed.
Administration officials say they will also work with Congress to improve price research in the cattle market. The White House blog post said the bipartisan law “encourages” the administration to increase transparency in cattle prices.
“The reality today is that farmers are losing money on cattle, dogs and poultry at a time when they are seeing higher prices for consumers in grocery stores,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Wilsack said in a briefing on Wednesday.
Wilsak said the administration’s goal is to get farmers a fair return and consumers a fair price.
Tyson Foods issued a statement Wednesday evening dismissing claims by the White House that the increased price of beef was caused by “unprecedented market conditions.”
“One of the many, unprecedented market shocks, including the global epidemic and severe weather
Tyson said there has been an unexpected and drastic decline in the ability of meat processors to work at full capacity. So, as a result, the price for beef went down, while the price for beef went up. Today, prices for livestock are rising. “
The company added, “It is wrong to suggest that consolidation in the meat processing industry results in higher prices for consumers.”
The latest consumer price index shows that grocery prices rose 0.6 per cent from June to July this year and 2.6 per cent last year. The food industry is one of the many sectors that has experienced inflation during the coronavirus epidemic.
Republicans have sought to attack President Biden over the rise in prices of goods and services, and have linked the rise in inflation to his policies.