Today, no greater concentration of corporate power, monopolistic practices, and exclusion of economic prosperity exists than in the food and agriculture markets. Because our government has failed to do its job, a handful of transnational corporations and their overpaid CEOs control our farm and food system, driving family farmers off the land, abusing workers, degrading our environment, and leaving consumers without healthy and safe food choices.
These monopoly corporations focus almost entirely on their bottom line, abandoning their responsibility to be good stewards of those things under their control. This corporate consolidation has had a disproportionately negative impact on communities and farmers of color and has not delivered the benefits to the American consumer that was promised in a “get big or get out” economy.
Four Companies Control 85% of Beef Processing, 80% of Soybean Processing, 77% of Beer, and 67% of Pork Processing
Farmers, working people, and the rural communities they call home need bold action now. This requires thoughtful research, better government policy, and market innovation. Family Farm Action Alliance is working with a broad range of allies on campaigns across the spectrum to build an inclusive economy that revitalizes rural America.
Most state attorneys general have strong antitrust authority. This authority is granted by both federal and state statutes. Unfortunately, most state attorneys general do not fully assert their authority against the monopoly control in the food and agriculture sectors. While an attorney general may be aware of their authority and have some awareness of the issues to be addressed, far too often, they do not have the information and resources to act. In other states, the citizenry are unaware and do not push to make anti-monopoly a priority of their elected officials.
Family Farm Action Alliance is working to remove the barriers holding back state anti-monopoly enforcement and pushing state attorneys general to take on abusive corporate power on behalf of their citizens. We are providing them with the research, information, and stakeholder support they require to take action against the industrialized food and agriculture system.
As a handful of corporations gained monopoly control of the markets, they have assimilated economic power that they mold into political influence. The result has been government programs and subsidies designed to allow them to maintain their control of the market and further their profitability at the expense of the farmers, ranchers, working people and consumers.
We are developing advancing the following policy recommendations to end this trend of monopoly control:
Family Farm Action Alliance’s partner organization, Family Farm Action, advances our policy positions in both state and federal capitols. Together, we represent a seamless chain of action from research and policy development to the adoption of the policy through legislative action by elected officials who support our vision.
Family Farm Action assisted with the drafting of legislative packages, which, if passed, would place a moratorium on all large agriculture, food and beverage manufacturing, and retail grocery, would provide producer protections in the Packers and Stockyards Act, and would fund technical assistance for Black farmers to acquire legal title to their farms.