The beef packing industry is now dominated by four large multinational corporations – Cargill, Tyson, the Brazilian firm JBS and National Beef Packing, which is controlled by another Brazilian company.
Country of origin labeling for beef was repealed in 2015.
And the beef checkoff – a $1 tax on the cow every time it is sold – funnels millions of dollars to beef promotion groups that side with the beef packing monopolists against the farmers.
For almost fifty years now, Fred Stokes, a cattle farmer in Porterville, Mississippi, has been seeking to give the family farmer a fair shake in the marketplace – to bring back country of origin labeling, to bust up the big four and to repeal or reform the checkoff.
In the late 1980s, he helped organize a group called the Organization for Competitive Markets to achieve these goals.
It is still running now more than 20 years later.
What has been the outcome?