March 3, 2014 at 10:52am
St. Paul, Minnesota (March 3, 2014) – In celebration of the United Nations’ 2014 International Year of Family Farming, this month Minnesota Farmers Union is highlighting the importance of a competitive marketplace.
“For family farmers to be successful, there must be ample competition in the marketplace, and Farmers Union continues to find power in numbers by bringing farmers together to form cooperatives, and to establish new marketing arrangements that help to grow family agriculture,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “These efforts are extremely important and pertinent today, when only a handful of firms dominate many sectors of the agriculture economy.”
When four firms control more than 40 percent of a market, that market is considered non-competitive. According to the University of Missouri-Colombia, the four largest companies control:
- 82 percent of the beef packing industry;
- 85 percent of the soybean processing;
- 63 percent of the pork packing; and
- 53 percent of broiler chicken processing.
“Agricultural concentration in the marketplace presents risks to family farmers, consumers and our overall food security, and Farmers Union will continue to fight for the family farmer and so that consumers receive a fair price at the store,” Peterson added.