On December 14th, the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced new Farmer Fair Practice Rules to protect contract farmers from some of the abusive terms commonly found in contracts with large poultry companies.
Three rules have been released. The rules include:
- an interim final rule that specifies that farmers do not have to prove harm to competition in the industry to bring a case against an integrator for harm or unfair practices,
- a proposed rule containing criteria GIPSA would use to judge the fairness of a poultry grower ranking system (aka tournament system) used to calculate farmer payment, and
- a proposed rule to define “undue or unreasonable preference” under the Packers and Stockyards Act.
In response to this announcement, Sally Lee, Program Director at RAFI, along with North Carolina and Arkansas poultry farmers Craig Watts, Mitchell Crutchfield, and Reid Phifer, issued these statements.
RAFI in the News
We’ve been featured in several major news reports on the new rules recently, which you’ll find listed here. It’s always best to read from multiple reputable sources. Please leave us your comments here or on our Facebook page.
- POLITICO – Chicken farmers hope Trump will jump on GIPSA train
- NPR – After A Long Fight, New Rules Defend Small Farmers. For Now.
- The Wall Street Journal – USDA Issues New Rules Aimed at Protecting Farmers
- Mother Jones – Obama’s USDA Just Played Chicken With the Trump Transition Team
- The Hagstrom Report – Updated Rule to Give GIPSA Enforcement Authority
- High Plains Public Radio – Chicken farmers hope Trump will back regulation
Watch the trailer for our documentary, Under Contract, below. We expect to release the film on February 1st, 2017.