Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack:
Cattle producers are shutting down operations because a handful of corporations are manipulating markets and fixing prices. As a result, ranchers can no longer make a viable living. When our ranches are gone, rural communities suffer a ripple effect with our wealth and our labor extracted by these multinational corporations. The excessively low prices that ranchers consistently receive for cattle should lead to lower prices for beef at the grocery store, but consumers are paying more while ranchers are going out of business. Only the corporate meatpackers are reaping the record-breaking profits due to to this broken system.
- No packer shall procure cattle for slaughter through the use of formula or basis price forward contracts. All forward contracts used by packers for purchase of cattle slaughter supplies shall contain a firm base price that can be equated to a specific dollar amount at the time the contract is entered into and be offered or bid in an open public manner.
- No packer shall own and feed cattle unless those cattle are sold for slaughter in an open public market.