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We're over it, and you should be too.

Due to the governments anti-trust laws that they have failed to enforce, four packers have developed the ability to control the entire worlds protein supply. We are not just talking beef…but pork, chicken, and alternatives as well. The inability for outside producers to compete is largely due to the fact that “the big four” as they are often called would only intentionally lose a small portion of the massive fortune that they have been amassing for decades should someone step up and try to challenge them.

Let’s say you want to open a packing house, immediately upon opening your doors you will be paying more for live cattle while selling your beef for loss, thus giving you the inability to compete. To put it plainly, all the packer has to do is sell their product at a loss for a short time until those individual producers (you in this scenario) who took a chance on themselves are forced to close their doors.

To put it simply their game is one of supply and demand and boy have they figured out how to cheat. By increasing packing house floor space, it would increase demand for input i.e., live cattle as well as increase supply i.e., boxed beef. Therefore, increasing the price of live cattle, while simultaneously decreasing the price of the beef YOU purchase. Sounds like a picture-perfect world to everyone but Tyson, JBS, National Beef and Cargill.

Today, for example, the packer will cancel harvest days, in effect increasing their input supply (live cattle) because cattle don’t quit growing, therefore increasing their supply while decreasing their output supply (beef) which means they will pay us less for our cattle, while charging you more for you beef. When packers cancel harvest days it also hurts the hard working Americans that count on those hours to feed their own families. If you like the word sustainable, the model the packers have created in the last decade is anything but sustainable. And there is no one telling them to stop. That is not true fair market capitalism.

Solutions are short lived until the government steps in and enforces the “laws” that have weakly been put into place. Beef doesn’t have to be a luxury item reserved for holidays and special occasions, but to many Americans, it is. So next time your grocery bill is through the roof you can tip your hat to the packer and say a few prayers for the cattlemen.

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