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MFU applauds President Biden’s action to break up big ag

ST. PAUL – Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) President Gary Wertish today praised President Joe Biden for signing an executive order that encourages more competition in the marketplace.

“Consolidation in agriculture has been going unchecked for too long,” said Gary Wertish, Minnesota Farmers Union president. “It squeezes family farmers out of business, hurts workers and makes consumers pay more at the grocery store. It’s unfair, Minnesotans know it, and I’m glad to see this new administration has the guts to take it head on.”

The executive order shows President Biden is focused on the middle class as the nation emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. The order includes 72 directives that will be carried out by 12 federal agencies, many of which target the agricultural sector.

 

Provisions include:

  • Restoring farmers and Ranchers rights to file complaints with USDA or sue under the Packers and Stockyards Act if treated unfairly by the packer or contractor.
  • Increasing access to food through supermarket alternatives, including farmers markets.
  • Expanding transparency on meat labeling.
  • Urging the Federal Communications Commission to reinstate its net neutrality rules.
  • Making rail and shipping rates more competitive in rural areas.
  • Encouraging more options for banking and lending in rural areas.
  • Addressing consolidation in rural health care.
  • Giving farmers the right-to-repair their own equipment without voiding warranty protections.

 

National Farmers Union President Rob Larew lauded the administration for taking this monumental step towards protecting farmers from anticompetitive practices.

“After suffering corporate abuse for so many years, it is reassuring that farmers may finally get a level playing field,” Larew said. “This executive order will offer them more autonomy in their relationships with corporations, protections from mistreatment, fairer and more accurate labeling, the right to repair their machinery, and more robust local markets – which, taken together, will go a long way towards building the resilient, equitable food system that farmers and consumers deserve. We urge the administration to swiftly implement these changes and follow up with strong antitrust enforcement.”

Read President Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy.


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