US rancher building his own meat factory

Lincoln, Nebraska: Nebraska rancher Rusty Kemp has been complaining for years about the low prices paid to his cows, despite the continued rise in beef prices in grocery stores. I did.

The problem is due to the integration of the beef industry that began in the 1970s, resulting in four companies, Cargill, JBS, Tyson Foods and National Beef Packing, accounting for more than 80% of US beef processing and processors. Price while the rancher struggles to make a living.

For every dollar spent on food, the share paid to ranchers and farmers dropped from 35 cents in the 1970s to 14 cents now, according to federal data.

As a result, Kemp has planned to raise more than $ 300 million from other ranchers to build its own ranch. Meanwhile, construction of sustainable beef, a factory owned by the company, has begun. Other groups are also planning to build their own factories in Iowa, Idaho and Wisconsin.

“We’ve been complaining about it for thirty years, probably when someone does something about it,” Kemp said, as quoted by ABC News.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is also encouraging the construction of a more diverse supply chain in the beef industry, allocating $ 650 million to the construction of small and medium-sized meat and chicken factories and providing a $ 100 million loan guarantee. ..

However, new players face considerable challenges in confronting large, well-funded competitors who can operate highly efficient factories and sell beef at prices that are difficult to match. increase.

According to ABC News, Sustainable Beef CEO David Briggs admitted the difficulty, but investors in his company were confident and said, “Cow is a risk taker and ready to take risks.” ..

However, the COVID-19 pandemic, which infected many workers, delayed production and closed some of its major factories. A cyberattack last summer highlighted problems caused by concentration until production at the JBS plant was temporarily suspended and the company paid a ransom of $ 11 million. In production.

The Biden administration also blamed a 14 percent increase in beef prices from December 2020 to August 2021 due to lack of competition.

In response, the North American Meat Research Institute, an industry group that includes large and medium-sized factories, said the shortage of workers was the industry’s biggest challenge.

However, Shane Miller, president of Tyson Fresh Meets Group, said it was unfair to blame the integration with large companies for industry issues.

In July, he told the Senate Committee, “Many meat processing companies, including Tyson, are unable to operate their facilities well, despite a sufficient supply of cattle. Enough to fill our factory. There are no good workers.

US rancher building his own meat factory

Source link US rancher building his own meat factory

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