August 29, 2018— According to Bloomberg, Tyson Foods closed a deal to purchase Keystone Foods LLC from Marfrig Global Foods SA for a reported $2.16 billion. Tyson, along with three other companies (Pilgrim’s Pride, Sanderson Farms, and Perdue Farms), currently controls more than half of the U.S. poultry industry. With this purchase, Tyson will now have a larger global reach as Keystone Foods is a main supplier of chicken nuggets to McDonald’s Corp.
Today, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it would terminate the Interim Final Farmer Fair Practice Rule that was set to go into effect October 19th. Farmers have been calling out to USDA for over a decade to hold big business in livestock industries accountable for unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices. This action today is a step in the wrong direction for rural America, siding with Big Meat and against farmers.
So far, 2017 has been a whirlwind year for our Contract Agriculture Reform Program. We held two premieres of our documentary film, Under Contract: Farmers and the Fine Print, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and at Anthology Film Archives in New York City, and we later held screenings across the country that reached more than 500 people. We’re still riding that wave of initial success to expand our program and our impact.