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USDA found no wrong-doing, says Meat Institute president

USDA released a report about its investigation into beef price margins Wednesday. The investigative report looked specifically at two events, an August 2019 fire at Tyson Foods’ Holcomb, Kansas, beef plant, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

In August 2019, USDA announced its intent to investigate the economic impact caused by the loss of processing capacity after the fire at the Holcomb, Kansas, slaughter facility. In April of this year, USDA expanded the scope of that investigation to include the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on industry-wide plant slowdowns.

Julie Anna Potts, North American Meat Institute President and CEO issued the following statement after the USDA report was published:

“In its analysis of the effects of the fire and the pandemic, USDA found no wrong-doing and confirms the disruption in the beef markets was due to devastating and unprecedented events. It is difficult to see how the USDA’s recommended legislative proposals would have changed the outcome of the fire or the pandemic.

We will continue discussions with producer groups, Congress, and the administration to ensure there is a fair and competitive market. It is especially critical in these uncertain times for producers and packers to work together.”

The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) is the leading voice for the meat and poultry industry. NAMI’s members process the vast majority of U.S. beef, pork, lamb, and poultry, as well as manufacture the equipment and ingredients needed to produce the safest and highest quality meat and poultry products.

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