Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Meatpacking CEOs set to take heat from Congress amid soaring prices


The CEOs of several meatpacking companies are expected to come under tough questioning from lawmakers Wednesday at a House hearing where soaring food prices are likely to take center stage.

Households are facing a 40-year-high in inflation, which has put heavy political pressure on the Biden administration ahead of the midterms.

Biden and congressional Democrats have vowed to crack down on corporate consolidation and monopolistic practices in the private sector as one part of their effort to stop inflation — and the finger on Wednesday will be pointed at the meatpacking industry.

Since last year, overall meat and fish prices have risen nearly 14 percent on an annual basis, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor, spurred on by pandemic-induced supply chain disruptions, overall high demand, and an overabundance, some economists say, of fiscal stimulus. 

Ground beef was up 22 percent in March since last year, steak and sirloin were up 27 percent, and sliced bacon was up 26 percent. In January, the White House wrote that “meat and poultry prices [are] now the single largest contributor to the rising cost of food people consume at home.”..MORE

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