During this COVID-19 pandemic, we understand that it isn?t always business as usual. Our lives are not the same as they would normally be. This is the same for farmers as well as any other industry. However, there are some questions about how bad some of the situations have gotten. Some things just aren?t adding up, and Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley talked about them on Tuesday morning.
One of the situations that Senator Grassley was questioning had to do with the price of meat, particularly beef. Demand is high as grocery stores are emptying daily, but the prices aren?t reflecting this increase in demand. If anything, they are doing the opposite and dropping.
The ?Big Four? that Senator Grassley is referring to are Tyson Foods, Cargill, JBS, and National Beef. The Senator said it is appalling to think that these huge companies are using an emergency such as this pandemic to stuff their own pockets while giving the shaft to beef producers. Senator Grassley said he is asking Attorney General William Barr and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to investigate any wrongdoing by these meat packers.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stimulus (CARES) Act does contain provisions to help support these livestock producers from the price drops they are experiencing during this time. Senator Grassley explains more.
The CARES Act was passed by the Senate last Thursday and the House last Friday morning before President Trump signed it into law Friday afternoon.