Today, from meat to beer to seeds, the food industry is highly consolidated. The removal of a long-standing ownership structure, one that distributed profit and opportunity across America’s landscape, means that now, most land and most animals are now cared for by corporations, not by individuals.
Open Markets Food & Power researcher and reporter Claire Kelloway published an op-ed on the Washington Monthly on November 21, 2019 on how America’s biggest dairy co-op is trying to become even bigger. Kelloway writes that one critical reason dairy farms feel pressure to consolidate is because milk retailers, buyers, and, processors have spent years consolidating around them. Now, a merger between major milk monopolists threatens to deal another blow to ailing dairy farmers, and its not clear if federal enforcers will do anything to stop it.
Ahead of Thanksgiving, Open Markets’ Food & Power reporter Claire Kelloway speaks with Bloomberg law about consolidation among poultry producers and how price fixing is only made easier for them. “Turkey, an $18 billion industry, is one of the lone proteins not subject to any publicly known federal investigation or private suit” reports Bloomberg Law “Even though many top U.S. turkey producers, such as Cargill Inc. and Tyson Foods, allegedly sought to fix prices of other foods.”
Open Markets’ Sandeep Vaheesan and Claire Kelloway published a piece on The American Prospect on November 21, 2019 calling for a fair labor market for food chain workers. An overwhelmingly disenfranchised immigrant workforce and corporate collusion and concentration define work in food and agriculture today, they assert. Reforming these labor markets is essential.
Open Markets Food & Power reporter Claire Kelloway covers how after U.S. and Chinese trade officials reached a deal to lift China’s five-year ban on U.S. poultry imports, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) submitted a final rule permitting China to export chicken to the U.S. from birds raised and slaughtered in China for the first time in the agency’s history. She argues that the only clear winners in this grand bargain are multinational meatpackers that can profit from selling the lowest cost poultry, no matter where it came from.
A a coalition of students, farmers, ranchers, fishers, and food workers rallied outside the Philadelphia headquarters of cafeteria operator, Aramark, to demand the corporation invest in more just and sustainable food systems. Open Markets’ Researcher and Reporter Claire Kelloway spotlights their campaign targeting a system of contracts and kickbacks between dominant food corporations and the three largest food service management companies, Aramark, Sodexo, and Compass Group.
Open Markets’ Food & Power reporter Claire Kelloway reports on the “Stop the Stealin'” rally where nearly 500 cattle producers from 14 states rallied in Omaha, Nebraska to denounce corporate control over cattle markets and to demand that the Trump administration do something to fix it. She also covers developments in the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund (R-CALF)’s case for why beef checkoff funds should not go to private entities without ranchers’ consent. Here’s her latest on Food & Power.
The below is a statement from Claire Kelloway, Reporter & Researcher at Open Markets Institute, regarding Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s comment “In America, the big get bigger and the small go out.”