Nebraska Farm Bureau releases findings of Cattle Market Task Force
Nebraska Farm Bureau has released the findings and recommendations of a special Cattle Markets Task Force.
In its final report, the task force says it spent considerable time evaluating and discussing proposals to increase the share of negotiated cash sales in fed cattle markets but was not able to agree on whether government mandates are necessary.
“The Task Force was split at this time on supporting government mandates requiring a certain percentage of transactions occur by negotiated transactions,” the report says. “The Task Force believes the idea could be implemented if alternative mechanisms are unsuccessful in providing more price discovery in fed cattle markets.”
The report says task force members were concerned that a one-size-fits-all approach could have unintended consequences, especially given the complexity and regional nature of the cattle markets.
The task force also explored the thorny issue of mandatory country-of-origin labeling and concluded that standards for meat to be labeled “Product of the USA” should be revised.
“Under current regulations, cattle born and raised in a foreign country, but imported into the U.S. and processed, can be labeled as products of the U.S. The Task Force recommends the Farm Bureau seek either statutory or regulatory changes that require meat products to be derived exclusively from cattle born, raised, and slaughtered in the U.S. to be labeled as a ‘Product of the USA’,” the report says.
Among the task force’s other recommendations are reforming confidentiality requirements under the Livestock Market Reporting Act, with “consideration of removing confidentiality restrictions altogether”; and, amending the Packers and Stockyards Act to provide USDA with greater investigative and enforcement tools when dealing with meat packers.