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Consolidation in Meat Packing Industry Largely Unchanged In Recent Years, Government Data Show

Monday, April 16, 2007

Washington, D.C., April 16, 2007 - "National Farmers Union (NFU) apparently is hoping that reporters will read their press release and not refer to government data about the state of consolidation in the meat industry,” American Meat Institute President J. Patrick Boyle said today in response to release of a report on agricultural concentration by NFU.

Boyle released a series of charts that plot USDA data about the structure of the meat industry. “NFU may not want reporters to see the ‘flat-line’ depiction of beef industry concentration over time, but by anyone’s view, these data do not constitute a trend,” Boyle said.

“While pork packing has seen some change, the trend is modest and stable. And more importantly for American consumers, the percent of their disposable income spent on meat and poultry has declined throughout the centuries to 1.9 percent – the lowest of any nation in the world."

The charts may be viewed at the following link: http://www.meatinstitute.org/content/businesseconomics/meatindustrystructurecharts.pdf.

“But the most important question is – what impact does this structure have on competition? Study after study has concluded that the meat industry is dynamic and competitive as it is currently structured,” he said. Boyle pointed to summary of these reviews that is available on the American Meat Institute web site at: http://www.meatinstitute.org/Content/PressCenter/factsheets/studiesofusredmeatindustrystructure.pdf.

“While NFU may wish to persuade that meat industry structure is to blame for challenges faced by NFU’s members, merely wishing cannot make it so when the data and comprehensive analyses prove otherwise.”

For more information contact:
David Ray
Vice President, Public Affairs
Janet Riley
Sr. Vice President, Public Aff

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