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Attorney General Josh Stein Supports Fairer Poultry Industry for Farmers

For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Contact: Nazneen Ahmed
919-716-0060

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein supported a proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that would make the poultry industry more transparent and make it easier for small poultry farmers to compete for fair pricing terms from large processors.

“North Carolina’s poultry farmers have a right to a fair market and fair prices,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I support the USDA’s efforts to make the poultry industry more transparent and protect our farmers and their livelihoods.”

The USDA is proposing the rule under its authority in the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921, which was enacted a century ago to address unfair, deceptive, and anti-competitive practices in meat markets. Currently, the poultry system is dominated by contract growing arrangements and a tournament system. The growers – poultry farmers – enter into contract growing arrangements with large processors that guarantee the processors will provide and accept poultry from the grower. But these contracts do not include how many birds or what prices poultry farmers will receive for the birds, so farmers don’t know how much they will make or if they are being treated fairly.

The proposed rule will require poultry processors to certify how many birds a grower will receive, what other growers are receiving, and what the market has looked like previously for growers in each tournament. This transparency will give farmers needed information about the contracts they enter into and increase industry accountability.

Attorney General Stein is joined in filing the comment letter by the Attorneys General of Minnesota, California, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Nevada, and Pennsylvania.

A copy of the letter is available here.

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