24 Feb '12, 8pm

Read the new post in our Earth Island Journal blog "The EnvironmentaList"...

Read the new post in our Earth Island Journal blog "The EnvironmentaList"...

As meat packing has become increasingly consolidated, cash markets for sale of livestock have disappeared. More livestock is raised, not by independent entrepreneurs competing in an open marketplace, but under contracts that are controlled by large packers and processors. Ranchers have few options but to sell to specific large meat processors and packers, which means the contracts were typically very unfair and one-sided. Too often, packers and processors use market power to drive small ranchers out of business or to retaliate against them if they complain about unfair practices. Butler’s agency proposed a major regulatory reform that would help ensure that smaller ranchers could get fair contracts. The rules made it clear that if a single rancher could meet the same contract terms as a large company ranch, the packers and processors could not opt out of using their products.

Full article: http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListR...

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