Meat prices surge amid inflation, cyberattack concerns
Delancey Strategies president Jared Levy and Kingsview Asset Management CIO Scott Martin debate whether the Fed knows how to respond to price surges and inflation concerns.
Big Meat’s got some bite.
A trade group that represents the nation’s meat processors, including JBS USA, Cargill and Tyson Foods, blasted the Biden administration Tuesday for accusing the industry of “pandemic profiteering” — saying the government “refuses to acknowledge” the real problem.
In a letter to US Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack, the North American Meat Institute said surging prices were a result of a nationwide labor shortage — not consolidation of the meat industry.
“The Administration cannot ignore the fundamental principles of supply and demand,” Anna Potts of NAMI said.
“Americans are experiencing firsthand what the Secretary refuses to acknowledge, the effects of COVID and lack of labor are hurting consumers, and nothing proposed by the Secretary of Agriculture on the structure of the meat and poultry industry will help families struggling to pay for groceries.”
At a press conference last week, Vilsack, alongside White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, painted the country’s four largest meat firms as greedy “middlemen.”
“Farmers are losing money on cattle, hogs and poultry that they’re selling at a time when consumers are seeing higher prices at the grocery store,” Vilsack said. “And there are now record profits or near-record profits for those in the middle.”
Those four firms are Minnesota-based commodity trader Cargill, Arkansas-based chicken producer Tyson Foods, Brazil-based meatpacker JBS and Missouri-based National Beef Packing Co., which is owned by Brazilian beef producer Marfrig Global Foods.