Farmers Union launches Farmers for Fairness campaign
Sept. 23, 2021
National Farmers Union (NFU) this week launched the Fairness for Farmers campaign, which is designed to encourage Americans to contact their senators and representatives in Congress as well as the Biden administration to call for concrete steps to curtail consolidation in agriculture.
“We launched Fairness for Farmers because we have a president who is committed to taking on the challenge of fighting consolidation in agriculture,” said NFU President Rob Larew. “We are all buoyed by President Joe Biden’s Executive Order on ‘Promoting Competition in the Marketplace’ – a commitment from his administration to restore fairness to our economy.”
NFU is calling for these solutions:
- Packers and Stockyards Act (PSA) reform,
- Improving price discovery and ensuring fair and accurate market information,
- Facilitating competition and more diverse market opportunities, and
- Reinvigorated antitrust enforcement.
Minnesota Farmers Union President Gary Wertish joined Larew in rolling out the Fairness for Farmers campaign, tracing the effort back to the roots of Farmers Union, which was formed by farmers who weren’t getting a fair price for their products.
“You only have to drive around the countryside, whether it’s Minnesota or Colorado or Montana or Iowa, you see numerous empty farm sites,” Wertish said. “All of those empty farm sites have empty buildings that were at one time used to raise livestock, but also used to support families that were part of their local community. Those families sent their children to the local school, picked up groceries at the local store and shopped at the local hardware store. That’s the part we’re missing.
“Consolidation is happening throughout the agricultural sector, but what we need is access to fair and transparent markets,” Wertish continued. “When you visit the grocery store, you see many labels on the shelves, but there are only a half dozen companies that control all those labels and that’s where all the profit is going. This is affecting everybody, farmers and consumers alike.”
The Fairness for Farmers campaign seeks to harness the power of grassroots individuals to fight for an economy that rewards hard work and ensures fair agricultural markets by:
- Encouraging farmers and ranchers to share videos of their stories online,
- Building national coalitions to support lawmakers and regulators in the anti-trust space to fight for strengthening our pro-competition laws and regulations, and
- Educating lawmakers, the media and the American people about our broken food system that allows monopolies to cheat farmers and ranchers and charge consumers higher prices at the grocery store.
“I do believe we are in for a fight,” Larew said. “The giants who dominate our food and agriculture industry are not going to be toppled without a struggle, but Farmers Union members, and everyone who joined me today, are not afraid of a fight and are ready to stand up for fairness.”
About Minnesota Farmers Union
Minnesota Farmers Union works to protect and enhance the economic interests and quality of life of family farmers and ranchers and rural communities. MFU is a nonprofit membership-based organization. Membership is open to everyone. Learn more and join at www.mfu.org and follow MFU on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
# # #
Minnesota Farmers Union—Standing for Agriculture, Working for Farmers (www.mfu.org)