Ag groups worried about further consolidation


A coalition consisting of 68 farmer, environmental, and antitrust groups across the country sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on consolidation. They’re asking him to ensure that pandemic relief funds do not lead to the further consolidation of the food and agriculture industry.

The letter asks Mnuchin to invest the stimulus funds in farming systems that lift farmers and rural communities while providing opportunities for diverse, sustainable agriculture systems to thrive. The letter says the current food system that’s under the control of a few major corporate players isn’t sustainable, a reality brought forth by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The letter says “While farmers and advocates of rural communities are closely watching how USDA will distribute the $9.5 billion allocated through the CARES Act, little discussion or oversight is being given to this other, much-larger pot of money with few strings attached.”

The groups want Mnuchin to make sure that money doesn’t go straight from the Treasury Department into the pockets of larger corporations.

“During this crisis, relief must be prioritized for the frontline workers and farmers who are the backbone of America’s food supply,” the letter adds. “Consolidation in food and agriculture has already taken a toll on the security of our food system.”

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