fbpx

Action Alert: Submit Comment on Undue Preference Rule

In less than a month, the USDA will close commenting on a rule intended to govern undue preference shown by large corporations in the meat industry. Undue preference or undue prejudice is a term used to explain an advantageous or disadvantageous decision made, in this case by a meatpacking corporation, that impacts a person.

While protecting farmers was the reason for creating the rule, this proposed rule will actually protect the most abusive industry practices and insulate the industry from future accountability.

Farmers and ranchers know there are problems with how these huge meatpacker corporations operate. Huge debt, racial bias, take-it-or-leave-it contracts, retaliation for speaking out, at-will contract termination, and more. However, most farmers and ranchers cannot speak out for fear of retaliation.

This proposed rule would allow virtually any action by a meatpacker. The rule language specifies that it is fine for corporations to use certain business practices when the purpose is for:

a.) cost savings;
b.) meeting a competitors price;
c.) meeting a competitors terms;
d.) any business decision customary in the industry.

For example, this rule could justify a corporation terminating a production contract with a smaller farmer and instead favor a large livestock facility as a ‘cost-saving measure.’

This rule gives greater leave for meatpacking corporations to use abusive, discriminatory, or deceptive practices in the name of what benefits the business, not the farmer. This rule will encourage collusion between meatpacking corporations, drive down wages to farmers, and give the industry carte blanche to continue their exploitative practices.

Take action and ask the USDA to stand up for farmers, rather than protecting industry.

The USDA is collecting comments on this rule until March 13th, 2020. From now until then we need to say with one united voice “Protect farmers over corporations!”

Click here to submit a comment. We have included a sample comment but we encourage you to personalize the message based on your perspective and experience.

RAFI-USA staff are currently working remotely. As we plan for how COVID-19 will change both how we do our work, and what work needs to be done, please know that we are still here. Our Farmer Hotline (866-586-6746) will operate from Monday-Saturday from 9am to 6pm. Stay tuned for more updates and information.
+