USDA is making $200 million available to create a new meat processing capacity expansion program, providing $25 million for workforce training under the Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program (MPILP).
The $200 million will “provide much-needed financing to independent meat and poultry processors to start up and expand operations,” USDA said. The program will provide grants of up to $15 million to qualifying recipients that will use the funding to create a revolving loan fund to finance capacity expansion.
The financing will be available to independent meat and poultry processors to “start up and expand operations.” MPILP will provide grants of up to $15 million to nonprofit lenders, including private nonprofits, cooperatives, public agencies and tribal entities, according to USDA. Those entities are to use the funding to “establish a revolving loan fund to finance a variety of activities related to meat and poultry processing.”
The Biden Administration announced Monday it will spend $1 billion in American Rescue Funds to expand independent meat processing capacity as part of a broader initiative to break up what it calls a meat and poultry processor monopoly.
President Biden's action plan also promises new, stronger rules under the Packers & Stockyards Act, and to issue new “Product of USA” labeling rules. Included in today's announcement was a “joint initiative” between the Justice Department and USDA to better coordinate their efforts.
“Over the last few decades, we’ve seen too many industries become dominated by a handful of large companies that control most of the business and most of the opportunities—raising prices and decreasing options for American families, while also squeezing out small businesses and entrepreneurs,” the White House said in a statement. “The meat and poultry processing sector is a textbook example, with lack of competition hurting consumers, producers, and our economy.”
In July, President Biden announced a plan to improve competition and resilience in the meat and poultry sectors. Monday’s announcement included a four-prong Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain the White House hopes will “loosen the grip that consolidated corporations currently have on the industries.” The new Action Plan also seeks to support workers and independent processors, strengthen protections for farmers, ranchers and consumers, enforce fair competition and increase pricing and market transparency.
Brazilian meatpackers eye potential developments in the European market
Soaring grain prices in the wake of Russia's attack on Ukraine are hurting Brazilian meatpackers, but trade disruptions facing Ukrainian and Russian meat producers may be an opportunity to boost Brazil's share in global trade, industry sources said.
Russia and Ukraine together account for about 29% of global wheat exports and 19% of corn exports, both of which can be used as livestock feed, reported Reuters.
Depending on how the situation plays out, the conflict may also lead to Brazil accessing markets served by competitors. According to the sources, one potential development is Europe scrapping a ban on several Brazilian meatpackers imposed in 2018 after a food sector scandal.
"The industry is prepared to cover gaps and support the food security of nations that may be short-supplied by the likely suspension or decrease in exports of chicken and pork from Russia and Ukraine," said Ricardo Santin, president of meat lobby ABPA.
Egg Farmers of Canada announced today the release of its National Environmental Sustainability Tool (NEST), an innovative online tool that empowers Canadian egg farmers to measure, monitor and manage the environmental footprint of their own farm.
The beta version of NEST allows farmers to perform a sustainability assessment of their farm to understand key drivers of environmental performance, including energy and water use, while also exploring comparisons to farms in their region and across the country.
"With the growing demand and uses of eggs comes the responsibility to produce eggs sustainably, which is why our nation's egg sector and our hard working egg farmers from coast to coast remain committed to continually improving operations and practices and why we invest in innovation and new tools like NEST," said Tim Lambert, CEO of Egg Farmers of Canada. "The development of NEST is part of our broader, holistic vision of sustainability."
"As egg farming continues to grow, enabling more sustainable agriculture will continue to play a central role in securing a strong, prosperous future for the industry and for Canada," continued Lambert.