A May 30, 2003, notice in the Federal Register outlined the Agency’s objectives in studying the issue of packer ownership of livestock. Congress required the $4.5 million study in the FY 2003 Agriculture Appropriations bill.
"Without adequate consideration for the ultimate consumers and the various segments of the farm to consumer marketing chain, USDA’s study could exclude some of the most critical phenomena in the marketing of meat, meat products and livestock," AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle said in the comments.
USDA gave too much weight to issues concerning the “cash” or “spot” livestock market in its information collection and analysis portion, Boyle said. USDA also should have included examination of questions of price volatility management, price risk and the benefits and risks to all parties of marketing and contracting agreements, he said.
AMI’s comments made the following points:
- USDA should utilize non-traditional agricultural universities and multi-discipline experts in the area of business and marketing;
- USDA should add to its outline the identification and survey of market drivers and economic demand from the ultimate customers and their relationship to the packing communities’ procurement models;
- USDA should broaden its overall scope for examining the use of marketing agreements, contracts, and other procurement arrangements;
- USDA should examine the marketing relationships among all animal proteins and the role marketing agreements play in increasing or decreasing competitive pressures and marketability of various animal protein products.
- USDA should use a broad scope for assembling the peer review panel as prescribed in the Appropriations bill.
To view AMI’s comments, visit: http://www.meatinstitute.org/Template.cfm?Section=IndustryStructure&NavMenuID=227&template=TaggedContentFile.cfm&NewsID=685 .