Packers and Stockyards
Peer review of major investigations of competitive behavior in meatpacking.
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) has had ongoing dialogue with interested industry groups on issues raised in a petition submitted by the Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC) to restrict certain livestock procurement practices regarding forward-contracted and packer-fed cattle. As a result of that dialogue and in keeping with the Departments responsibility to address industry concerns about concentration in the meatpacking industry, USDA has decided to conduct outside professional peer reviews of some of the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administrations (GIPSA) major investigations of competitive behavior in the industry.
GIPSA is implementing a major reorganization of its Packers and Stockyards program to strengthen its effectiveness in addressing competitiveness issues, and USDA has requested additional funding to examine industry structure and competition in the livestock, meat, and poultry industries. Peer review of selected major investigations represents an additional opportunity to enhance GIPSAs investigative capabilities and to obtain constructive suggestions that could improve its programs further.
Through peer reviews, USDA will tap the creative talents of technical and legal experts in universities and other organizations throughout the United States. We believe this will substantially strengthen our capacity to conduct sound investigations and contribute significantly to our understanding of the impacts of livestock procurement practices and the competitive effects of major structural changes that are occurring in the livestock, meat, and poultry industries. Procurement practices are of vital concern to producers because the practices potentially affect livestock prices and future opportunities in the industry.
Charge to the Reviewers--Analyze the quality of the output and associated analyses to determine if appropriate methods and procedures were employed. Assess whether GIPSA asked the right questions, and used appropriate analytical models to answer critical questions. Make suggestions and recommendations about additional analyses, data, or questions that may strengthen the investigation being reviewed or enhance our ability to investigate these critical questions. Reviewers will provide independent assessments of their findings and recommendations rather than developing a consensus report.
To strengthen investigations of potential anti-competitive behavior, GIPSA will peer review selected major investigations. This process will allow USDA to tap the creative talents of technical and legal experts in universities and other organizations throughout the United States.
For further information, write to USDA, GIPSA, Packers and Stockyards Program, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 3647, Washington, D.C. 20250-3647; or contact Gerald Grinnell at 202-720-7455.
| GIPSA Home |