Joint Initiative Seeks to Promote Competition in the Beef Supply Chain

The American Antitrust Institute and Organization for Competitive Markets this week announced a new joint initiative, “Breaking the Market Power Bottleneck in U.S. Beef: A Roadmap for Building an Independent Ranching and Processing Sector.” The initiative seeks to promote competition in the U.S. beef supply chain and supports the competition policy initiatives recently introduced by the Department of Agriculture. The organizations also urge the Department of Justice and USDA to consider a full complement of policy tools needed to support competition in beef, for the benefit of consumers and producers. Between 1980 and 2020, the retail sector’s share of the beef dollar has grown by about 65 percent, while the packer’s share increased by more than 70 percent, according to OCM and AAI. Over the same period, ranchers’ share of the beef dollar dropped by about 40 percent. OCM Executive Director Mike Eby adds, “The strategic expansion of beef processing is a must.”