WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) led a bipartisan letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue today asking him to consider four areas for regulatory and programmatic reform in the meat processing industry.
“When high-capacity processing facilities experienced outbreaks amongst employees, operations were forced to shut-off or slow down production, leaving the rancher with livestock they could not move and the consumer with either empty grocery shelves or overpriced products,” the senators wrote. “These pitfalls can be avoided in the future if we take action today to promote a diversified food supply chain. Regulations must be streamlined to remove barriers impeding small and medium-sized meat processors.”
The letter is endorsed by the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association.
“The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association supports increased competition in the meatpacking sector by increasing the opportunities for independent processors to succeed. We’d like to thank Senator Cramer for leading this bipartisan effort to encourage USDA to closely examine which rules and regulations are preventing the establishment of a more diversified food supply chain,” said Kenny Graner, a North Dakota rancher and Past President of the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association. “Until we address these arbitrary barriers to entry for new competitors, we will continue to see a meatpacking industry dominated by a handful of foreign-owned companies.”
Senator Cramer is joined on the letter by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), John Barrasso (R-WY), Doug Jones (D-AL), Mike Enzi (R-WY), John Hoeven (R-ND), and Steve Daines (R-MT).