For Immediate Release SBA’s Office of the Inspector General Reports Government-Guaranteed Loans Promote Exploitative Practices in the Chicken IndustryPittsboro, NC, March 9, 2018 –Three days ago, Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office […]
Hurricane Matthew has flooded several chicken farms in eastern North Carolina and left many out of power. When disaster strikes like this, farmers face may find themselves facing loss or damage to their home, to their land and essential farm equipment, and a long road to recovery and rebuilding. On top of that, as the flood waters receded chicken and livestock farmers will face another dilemma – they may have lost entire flocks, which can be hundreds of thousands of birds. In these catastrophic loss situations, farmers’ contracts make it clear that even though the companies technically own the birds while they are alive, the farmers themselves have to take on the burden and risk of disposing of the dead bird carcasses in a timely and safe way.
In a recent House committee meeting, Representative Harris (R-MD) justified a measure that would de-fund USDA’s protection of poultry farmers by citing a few strikingly odd facts: “chicken growers vote with what they decide to do” he said, “there’s a waiting list of 2000.” He also claimed that 94% of growers re-sign their contracts every year, and that thus 94% of growers must be happy. Interesting logic!
This fact sheet was produced by the RAFI in cooperation with the Campaign for Contract Agriculture Reform and Farmersʼ Legal Action Group