In an essay published in a Maryland paper, Mike Brown, president and CEO of the National Chicken Council, stated that President Biden is wrong to portray the meat and poultry industries as the culprit behind sharply rising grocery prices. “This administration has chosen to put politics above protein,” he wrote.
Consumer prices rose by 7% between 2021 and 2022, with chicken prices rising 10.4% and meat prices rising 14.8%. In the essay in the Salisbury (Maryland) Daily Times, Brown said the increase in chicken prices “is barely outpacing inflation — even despite major inputs like corn, soybeans, gasoline, packaging, and transportation increasing by double digits. Yet chicken producers are somehow the villain?”
Administration proposals to encourage new independent processors to go into business and to give producers more leverage with processors “will likely add costs, risk, and exacerbate the current market situation,” said Brown.
The meat industry has also denied any responsibility for the rise in pork and beef prices at the grocery store.
The North American Meat Institute, which speaks for meatpackers, said meat prices are up “because of labor shortages, greater consumer demand, supply chain problems, and other factors experienced by most sectors of the economy.”
Biden pointed to consolidation in the meat industry on Tuesday as a factor in high meat prices, saying, “You’ve got the Big Four [processors] controlling it all.”
Source: Successful Farming