Grassfed Beef in Indiana helps the fight against Global Monopolies

The U.S. cattle population is at its lowest level since the 1950s. As of the beginning of 2023, the USDA estimated the number of beef cows in the U.S. to be down by more than 1 million year-over-year, a decrease of 3.5%. This puts the size of the U.S. cowherd at the smallest since 1962.the shrinking U.S. cattle inventory has been offset by imported beef, particularly from countries like Brazil, Mexico, Canada, and Australia.  The U.S. is now a net importer of beef.

US Cattle Population

Over the past decade, the volume of beef imports from Brazil to the United States has seen a significant increase. In 2017, Brazil accounted for about 5% of the U.S. beef import total, being a distant fifth-place source of U.S. beef imports.  However, by 2020, the U.S. was among the top four nations importing beef from Brazil, acquiring 59,544 metric tons, which was up 53.8% over the previous year.  This increase was due to the opening of the U.S. market to Brazil’s fresh beef in February 2020.  In 2021, the United States imported $62.3 million of beef and beef products from Brazil in the first nine months of the year, a 36% increase over the same period a year earlier.  By 2022, Brazil had become the third-largest source of U.S. beef imports, accounting for 14% of the total volume.  The U.S. imported a record-breaking amount of fresh beef from Brazil in 2022, with imports in January 2022 alone reaching nearly 100 million pounds, a more than 500% increase relative to the same period in the previous year.


Is it a coincidence that beef imports from Brazil have increased when Brazil also has significant control over beef processing in the United States?

The beef industry in the United States and globally has been characterized by a high level of concentration, with a small number of companies controlling a significant share of the market. This has raised concerns about monopolistic practices and their impact on independent cattle ranchers, consumers, and the overall market dynamics.  The Brazilian company, JBS is a key player in this context, being the largest meat processing enterprise in the world. It has a substantial presence in the U.S. and is a major producer of beef, pork, and chicken, and it operates several production facilities across the country.

The concentration of market power in the hands of a few large firms like JBS has been a point of contention. For example, the top four companies in the beef sector, including JBS, Tyson, Marfrig, and Seaboard, have been reported to control 85% of the market.  This oligopolistic structure has been linked to increased corporate profits at the expense of cattle ranchers, who have seen their share of the consumer dollar spent on beef decline significantly

The disparity between the prices paid to ranchers for cattle and the prices of beef products for consumers has been a subject of investigation and legislative interest.  We can’t expect the government to ever do anything about this situation.  In a free market, consumers have the power to influence the agricultural industry by choosing to support local farmers and ranchers through direct purchases. This approach can have several significant impacts:

  • Breaking Monopolies: Currently, a small number of large corporations control a significant portion of the meat industry, which can lead to lower prices for farmers and higher prices for consumers. By buying directly from local farmers, consumers can help to break these monopolies and ensure a fairer distribution of profits.
  • Supporting Local Economies: Money spent locally tends to stay within the local economy, supporting other local businesses and contributing to the overall economic health of the community
  • Promoting Sustainable Practices: Local farmers, particularly those practicing regenerative farming, often prioritize sustainable and humane practices. By supporting these farmers, consumers can promote better treatment of animals and more environmentally friendly farming methods.
  • Improving Food Quality: Locally sourced meat is often fresher and of higher quality, as it doesn’t have to travel long distances. Many local farmers also avoid using hormones and antibiotics, leading to healthier and more natural products.
  • Increasing Transparency: Buying directly from farmers allows consumers to know exactly where their food comes from and how it’s produced. This transparency can lead to increased trust and a stronger connection between consumers and their food.

At Tyner Pond Farm, we take pride in our commitment to a secure food supply based on sustainable and ethical farming practices. Our farm stands out as among the best online meat delivery service, offering high-quality, regeneratively raised beef, pork, and poultry products. By choosing to support local farms like ours, you are making a sustainable choice that has far-reaching benefits for your food security, community and the environment.

The struggle of American farmers and ranchers in the face of Brazilian-owned meatpacking plants and the rise of cheap imported beef raises concerns about global monopolies in the meat industry. As the US cattle population hits a 70-year low and imports from countries like Brazil surge, it’s important to consider the impact of this trend on local farmers and the broader community. Supporting local farms, such as Tyner Pond Farm, is crucial in the fight against global monopolies and the preservation of domestic agricultural independence.

The dominance of Brazilian-owned meatpacking plants in the US raises questions about the long-term implications for American agriculture. By focusing on the support of local farms, we can contribute to the resilience of domestic agriculture and the preservation of traditional farming practices. This approach not only helps American farmers and ranchers but also ensures food security and supports the local economy.

The focus on supporting local farms in the US is a vital step in combating the influence of global monopolies in the meat industry. By choosing to buy from local farms like Tyner Pond Farm, we can contribute to the preservation of traditional farming practices, support the local economy, and ensure a sustainable future for American agriculture.

Fresh, Quality, Pasture-Raised.

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