Groups Endorse Agribusiness Merger Moratorium Bills

A broad coalition of more than 200 farm, food, rural, faith, and consumer advocacy groups delivered a letter to Congress endorsing food and agribusiness merger moratorium bills. They’re also urging members of the House and Senate to co-sponsor the legislation, introduced as the Food and Agribusiness Merger Moratorium and Antitrust Review Act of 2018. The National Farmers Union is one of those groups that signed on to the letter. NFU President Roger Johnson says corporate consolidation has long been one of the greatest challenges plaguing family farmers, ranchers, and rural coommunities. “By allowing us to step back to evaluate and strengthen the United States’ antitrust framework, the merger moratorium is a meaningful first step in stemming the tide of concentration in the agriculture and food sectors.” The legislation would impose an 18-month moratorium on the mega-mergers that have swept through agribusiness, food manufacturing, and the grocery industries. The letter to Congress says the consolidation has contributed to falling farm prices, declining farm incomes, stagnant wages for food workers, raising food prices and economic stagnation in rural communities. The letter points out that “a few colossal companies are reaping profits from their control of every link in the food chain.”