January 4, 2022
PIERRE, S.D. – Today, Governor Kristi Noem released the following statement regarding anticompetitive practices in the meat packing industry:
“President Biden has spent 40 years in Washington, DC and has failed to take action to ensure fairness for farmers and ranchers. Now, he seeks to score political points rather than actually fix the problem. America deserves to know if meat packers have been breaking the law, and the hard-working families in this country deserve to pay an affordable price for meat at the grocery store.
“President Trump’s DOJ launched an investigation into anticompetitive practices in the meatpacking industry in 2020, and we haven’t heard any update from the Biden Administration on the status of that investigation. I am calling on President Biden and Attorney General Garland to reopen that investigation immediately.”
This past year, Governor Noem led a coalition of six governors in sending a letter to the Biden DOJ, urging them to continue an investigation into anticompetitive practices in the beef packing industry.
Governor Noem also issued $5 million in grants to 99 small meat packers across South Dakota in 2021. These grants allowed them to expand their operations or start new ones, giving producers more options when it comes time to sell their livestock.
South Dakota also recently announced a Competitive Interstate Shipping agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture. This agreement allows our producers to sell state-inspected beef across state lines, opening up even more avenues for increased competition.
Currently, four beef packers control 85% of the market, driving down prices for producers. Also in 2021, one of these packers, foreign-based JBS, was hacked, and more than 20% of America’s beef production went offline overnight.