Meat Industry Has a Message for President Biden: ‘Stop Playing Chicken with Our Food’

by Quentin Blount

Unions in the meat and poultry industry aren’t happy with President Biden for using them as a “scapegoat” for inflation. They say that rising prices are the product of labor shortages. National Chicken Council President Mike Brown explained as much in a recent statement.

“While we haven’t seen any proposals, for the chicken industry, this looks like a solution in search of a problem,” Brown said in a statement. “The chicken industry is the least consolidated in all of animal agriculture, and the market share of the top four companies has been virtually the same for the past 20 years.”

Bown says that the Biden Administration should “stop playing chicken” with our food system. As a matter of fact, he thinks the chicken industry, in particular, should be viewed as a model of success.

“It’s time for The White House to stop playing chicken with our food system and stop using the meat industry as a scapegoat for the significant challenges facing our economy. This administration should be looking at the chicken industry as a model of success, instead of creating a boogeyman to justify an unnecessary and expensive foray into our meat supply.”

Julie Anna Potts is the President and CEO of the North American Meat Institute. She says that the President’s Administration is ignoring the number one challenge in the meat industry. What’s that you ask? Labor shortages.

“The Biden Administration continues to ignore the number one challenge to meat and poultry production: labor shortages,” she said. “This tired approach is not surprising because they have refused to engage with the packing and processing sector they attack, going so far as to hold a roundtable on meatpacking without a single beef or pork packer present.”

President Biden’s Roundtable Discussion About Meat Industry

As for President Biden, it’s true that he held a roundtable recently with farmers and ranchers in the U.S. He didn’t hold back, calling meat processors “middlemen” who overcharge the American people for meat.

“Our farmers and ranchers have to pay whatever these four big companies say that they have to pay by and large, but that’s only the half of it,” Biden said. “These companies can use their position as a middleman to overcharge grocery stores and ultimately families.”

President Biden compared the meat industry to other industries with the same issues. He went as far as to say that what’s going on right now isn’t capitalism, but “exploitation” instead.

“In far too many industries, a handful of giant companies dominate the market,” he said. “And too often they use their power to squeeze out smaller competitors and stifle new entrepreneurs. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — capitalism without competition isn’t capitalism, it’s exploitation. That’s what we’re seeing in meat and poultry.”