Photo by Shaun Coward on Unsplash

Blog | October 17, 2017

Calling for a Level Playing Field in the 2018 Farm Bill

by Alicia Harvie

Farm Aid is proud to join 210 farm, rural, worker and consumer advocacy organizations in urging Congress to adopt principles for a fairer farm bill in order to address corporate abuses and the lack of competition throughout the food system.

Farm Aid has long seen how consolidation in food and agriculture lowers prices for farmers, depresses wages for farmworkers and food chain workers. Consolidation also erodes rural economies and the fabric of rural communities, threatens our soil, air and water, and raises prices while limiting choices for consumers.

This is why we are calling on Congress to address the ongoing consolidation of agriculture by enacting policies that address unfair contracts for farmers, increase market transparency for both farmers and consumers, reform USDA lending programs and guarantee the rights of everyone involved in bringing food to our tables. Specifically, we note that:

  • Bigger is not better, a lesson we learned from the global financial crisis.
  • Anti-trust enforcement in agriculture and food sector must be enhanced,
  • Foreign ownership in U.S agriculture undermines U.S. farm income and drains resources from our rural communities.
  • Manipulation of livestock markets must be stopped.
  • Contract farmers are losing control of their farms and livelihoods to large integrated agribusinesses.
  • Market transparency benefits producers and consumers.
  • USDA loan guarantee programs must be reformed to prevent abuse by large livestock and poultry corporations.
  • Worker rights protections and enforcement in agriculture and food sector must be enhanced.

As the legislative path for the 2018 Farm Bill unfolds, Farm Aid will continue to work for policies that effectively address these issues and promote a just and fair food and agricultural system for all. Stay tuned for how you can join us to make sure our policies put people – our farmers, ranchers, workers, and rural communities – before corporate profits.

Read the letter that Farm Aid signed onto:

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