Thursday, May 21, 2009

Livestock Marketing Fairness Act introduced in Senate

Supporters of the Livestock Market Fairness Act say the bill will help stop unfair and manipulative practices by meatpackers that harm independent livestock producers. The act was introduced today (Wednesday, May 20), by U.S. Senators Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Tim Johnson, D-S.D. The act would amend the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 to end certain anti-competitive forward marketing contacts and ensure that producers have full access to the marketplace, according to supporters. The bill, introduced today, would: *Require that forward contracts for livestock (cattle, hogs and lambs) be traded in public markets where buyers and sellers can witness bids as well as make their own offers. This ensures the market is open to multiple offers. *Require marketing agreements to have a firm base price derived from an external source. This ensures that local contract prices are not subject to manipulation by packer owned herds. *Exempts producer-owned cooperatives, packers with low volumes and packers who own only one processing plant. This exemption targets the source of price manipulation and ensures that the business practices of small family-owned processors are not impacted by the law. *Ensures that trading is done in quantities that provide market access for both small and large livestock producers...Farm & Ranch Guide

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