Meat & Livestock News

President Biden Announces Implementation of Final Packers and Stockyards Rule to Promote Fair Competition and Lower Prices


  • President Biden is set to announce a new rule under the Packers and Stockyards Act aimed at promoting competition, protecting consumers, and ensuring fair market access for producers.
  • The rule, effective from May 6, introduces clearer standards against discrimination, retaliation, and deception in the livestock and poultry markets.
  • A new strike force led by the DOJ and FTC will target illegal corporate behaviours that inflate prices in various sectors, including food and healthcare.

Today, President Biden will unveil a significant rule under the Packers and Stockyards Act as part of broader efforts to foster competition, safeguard consumers, and reduce prices. This announcement is scheduled during the sixth meeting of the Competition Council, an initiative by Biden to combat corporate practices deemed unfair and inflationary.

Primarily aimed at consumer goods, this new rule specifically seeks to aid producers in their dealings with processors. Titled “Inclusive Competition and Market Integrity Under the Packers and Stockyards Act,” it aims to establish more transparent and effective standards for addressing practices of discrimination, retaliation, and deception in contracting.

According to the White House, this move is a response to the market consolidation over the past three decades, aiming to enhance market integrity and ensure equitable economic opportunities for producers and growers.

Set to take effect on May 6, following its publication in the Federal Register, the rule is a clear stance against unfair practices in the livestock and poultry markets. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack emphasised the administration’s commitment to tackling abuses that have marginalised producers and growers, denying them fair access to the marketplace.

The rule is part of the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service’s efforts to clarify standards under the Packers and Stockyards Act, prohibiting discrimination based on various factors and retaliation against producers for engaging in protected activities. It also addresses false or misleading statements in contracting and mandates recordkeeping for compliance monitoring.

Furthermore, President Biden will announce the formation of a strike force, co-led by the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission, to combat illegal corporate actions that contribute to high prices through anti-competitive and deceptive practices.

This task force will concentrate on sectors like prescription drugs, healthcare, food, housing, and financial services, aiming to enforce laws and ensure fair pricing for American families.