Details for Poultry Antitrust Workshop Released

US - The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) have announced the schedule and panelists for the second joint public workshop on competition and regulatory issues in agriculture, which will be held on 21 May 2010, in Normal, Alabama.
calendar icon 19 May 2010
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The workshop, the second in what will be a five-part series, will focus on consolidation and contracting practices in the poultry industry, and is expected to be well attended. Over 700 farmers and agribusiness experts participated in the first joint public workshop on consolidation in agriculture, which was held in Ankeny, Iowa in March.

Food Safety News reports that the series of workshops, first announced by Attorney General, Eric Holder, and Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, in August, are the first DOJ/ USDA joint workshops ever to be held to discuss competition and regulatory issues in the agriculture industry.

According to a joint release from the agencies: 'The goals of the workshops are to promote dialogue among interested parties and foster learning with respect to the appropriate legal and economic analyses of these issues, as well as to listen to and learn from parties with experience in the agriculture sector.'

Attorney General Holder, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, and Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ's Antitrust Division, Christine Varney, will all participate in the Alabama workshop, as will Congressman Artur Davis, Alabama Attorney General Troy King, and Alabama Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks.

Each of the key presenters will participate in a roundtable discussion, followed by a panel of current and former poultry growers. There are also two sessions planned to allow for public testimony.

Poultry growers are expected to address competition in the poultry industry, poultry contracting, contract terminations and upgrades to poultry houses, and inputs that affect grower compensation, such as bird quality, feed quality and consistency.

For a complete schedule of the DOJ, USDA antitrust workshop for poultry, see the workshop series web site [click here]. The event is free and open to the public but anyone interested in attending should register.

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