R-CALF USA Wraps Up Annual Meeting
Last week R-CALF USA held their annual convention in South Dakota. I joined in via their Cattle USA web feed and watched as Nathan Miller, a professor from Georgetown University, discussed buying power in the beef packing industry. He was asked about the control that the big four packing plants possess…
“If you think about control, as an economist what I hear you saying is that they have market power. And I agree. And I think the prices that come out of the system are not what you would necessarily call a competitive price. A monopoly is really not so much an economic term as a legal term. And so what I caution against is over-optimism about the ability to challenge the packers legally for having monopolies when there are four packers in this country that are all large. I think that the productive way to go about finding solutions is more likely going to involve thinking about ways we can tilt their incentives or provide a more fair market so that we can get better outcomes in light of the size of the four of them.”
Again Nathan Miller, a professor at Georgetown University, speaking at the R-CALF USA convention. That wrapped up this past Friday in Deadwood, SD. They also discussed free trade, had updates from committees, and talked about the beef checkoff in court.