Warm Southern Breeze

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Posts Tagged ‘price fixing’

Grocery Co$t$ to be PERMANENTLY HIGH because of Chinese-owned $mithfield Food$

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, June 28, 2022

史密斯菲尔德食品

Wan Long, RIGHT, Chairman and CEO of WH Group, formerly called Shuanghui International, shakes hands with Charles Larry Pope, President and CEO of Smithfield Foods, at a press conference of WH Group in Hong Kong, China, 14 April 2014.
Two subsidiaries of Henan Shuanghui Investment and Development Co have gained access to the Russian market, after its parent company — WH Group Ltd, the world’s largest pork producer— acquired US pork producer Smithfield Foods Inc and bought a stake in Campofrio Food Group SA of Spain, the largest pan-European packaged meat products company, last year. The two Heilongjiang-based companies — Wangkui Shuanghui Beidahuang Food Co and Heilongjiang Baoquanling Shuanghui Food Industry Co — got the official nod after their production facilities and products were examined and assessed by officials from Russia’s meat products watchdog, the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, in August, Shuanghui Development said on its website. To widen its import market for meat, the Russian government agreed to import meat products from five Chinese suppliers by the end of August, indicating the nation has taken a flexible strategy to balance the supply and demand relationship, while the US and its European allies are trying to squeeze the country’s trade space in the world market.

Chinese translated as “Smithfield Food”

Amidst the cacophony of overall price inflation in fuel, food, and other items, there are numerous underlying and related causes.

There are not merely one, two, or even three contributing problems to this lingering miasma, and rather, like a line of dominoes tumbling, one after another, significantly increased prices in consumer goods are taking a toll on Americans, whose incomes — unlike those of CEOs, and other high-level corporate executives — have not risen in response.

Consider food.

The United States Department of Agriculture found national slaughter capacity reductions [i.e., the CLOSING of abattoirs/processors/slaughterhouses] in pork, and cattle, of 35-40%, and 30-40%, respectively, which have translated to hyper-inflated costs to consumers.


NOTE: Big Oil has done similarly. They’ve closed their oil refineries & capped wells, thereby creating a false shortage, and simultaneously INCREASED prices, resulting in record profits not seen since the 1950’s.

THAT is why fuel prices are sky high.

There is NO OTHER REASON.

The Energy Information Administration has a page dedicated to Refinery Utilization and Capacity in the United States which shows that 679 oil refineries were closed and not utilized in 2021 — the GREATEST number ever, since 1985.

For more detailed information, see this entry: https://warmsouthernbreeze.wordpress.com/2022/06/28/energy-information-administration-data-shows-how-big-oil-is-abusing-consumers/


But business practices, related closures and production slowdowns in abattoirs and processing facilities have their roots elsewhere in time, and policy.

On June 10th, 2022, the communist Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods announced the following:

Smithfield Foods, Inc. today announced that it will cease all harvest and processing operations in Vernon, California in early 2023 and, at the same time, align its hog production system by reducing its sow herd in its Western region. The company will decrease its sow herd in Utah and is exploring strategic options to exit its farms in Arizona and California. Smithfield harvests only company-owned hogs in Vernon. Smithfield will service customers in California with its Farmer John brand and other brands and products from existing facilities in the Midwest.

(see: https://www.smithfieldfoods.com/press-room/2022-06-10-Smithfield-Foods-to-Close-Vernon%2c-CA-Facility-Reduce-Hog-Production-in-Western-Region/)

• A little less than a year ago, in early July 2021, Smithfield settled (for $83M) a Class Action Federal lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota accusing it of price-fixing, and Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Did they REALLY say that?, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News, WTF | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

11 States’ Attorneys General Ask DOJ To Investigate Meat Packers’ Price Fixing

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 7, 2020

Everything old is new again.

1919 characterization of BIG BUSINESS interests

Earlier, I had written about the obvious, which was that the concentration of meat processing facilities and a corresponding reduction in their numbers, does not portend well for the American consumer, neither for the competitive market, nor for farmers – and ONLY for Wall$treet-traded international conglomerate BIG BUSINESS.


The Attorneys General of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming have jointly signed a letter requesting United States Attorney General William Barr to investigate concerns of Price Fixing by the nation’s largest meat packers.

The AGs’ request comes after a March 19, 2020 letter sent from Senators M. Michael Rounds (SD-R), Kevin Cramer (ND-R), Steve Daines (MT-R), and John Hoven (ND-R) to AG Barr urging the “Department of Justice investigate continued allegations of (meat-packer) price fixing within the cattle market and to examine the current structure of the beef meatpacking industry for compliance with U.S. Antitrust law.” Reuters had earlier reported the Senators’ request 30 March.

Drovers, the nation’s oldest livestock publication, and beef industry specific news reporting agency, earlier reported 31 March 2020 that “Cattlemen have complained that surging meat prices due to the COVID-19 crisis hoarding did not translate into higher cattle prices. During the crisis, CME futures prices plunged lower along with the stock market, but wholesale beef prices rose 22% to a peak near $257 per cwt.”

The day prior, 30 March, Drovers reported an increase in beef and poultry production, by writing that “U.S. meat and poultry production increased an estimated 10% during the week ending March 28, according to the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC). Over the past four weeks, combined production of beef, pork, chicken and turkey was up 8.5% compared to the previous year.”

Numerous meat processing facilities nationwide have closed, after many of their employees became sick after infection with COVID-19 novel coronavirus. In response, Tyson Foods CEO John Tyson purchased a full-page advertisement in the Sunday edition New York Times which contained a letter he had written claiming that “The food supply chain is breaking.” Tyson is the nation’s 2nd largest food producer.

The ostensible cause of such plant closures he blamed upon others, not upon his company’s practices, and stated that “there will be limited supply of our products available in grocery stores until we are able to reopen our facilities that are currently closed.”

And on April 12, the American CEO of the Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods had earlier written that “Smithfield Foods, Inc. announced today that its Sioux Falls, SD facility will remain closed until further notice. The plant is one of the largest pork processing facilities in the U.S., representing four to five percent of U.S. pork production.”

On April 28, the Editorial Board of Newsday, a daily newspaper serving the greater New York City, and surrounding areas, wrote in part that,

“The federal government, late to react to the food crisis, must work with meat processing plants to get more protective equipment for workers, clean shared equipment, and reconfigure workstations so that physical barriers create at least six feet of space between them. Farming operations should be more nimble when markets change. Local food banks, which banded together after superstorm Sandy to improve their response to disasters, must do the same for pandemics.

“We can do this. We have enough food. We need to be smarter and better prepared so it’s not wasted and gets to those who need it.”

Soon thereafter, on April 30, Forbes magazine writer Jim Vinoski also took exception to the claims made by the executives, and wrote in concluding part that,

“Dave McLennan, CEO of Cargill, struck a much better note than Tyson did. He’s another guy we should listen to. Cargill is the largest privately-held company in the U.S. based on revenue, producing and distributing agricultural products such as sugar, refined oil, chocolate and turkey, and providing risk management, commodities trading and transportation services. They have sales of $115 billion annually, with $8.9 billion of that in food, and they employ 160,000 people. Appearing on “Leadership Live With David Rubenstein,” he said, “I think I would characterize it as the food supply chain is under strain. But there’s a lot of supply chains that are under strain due to what’s happening… I think basically, the ability of us to produce food is still there… The food industry and the food supply chain is resilient. I think the people that work in it every day are resilient. So I think it’s under strain, but I don’t think it’s broken.””

Even the President has jumped into the fray to investigate the highly-concentrated meat processing industry, and said he has asked the DOJ to investigate if the big industry’s players may have acted wrongly, or broken any laws – particularly the Sherman Antitrust law.

On Tuesday, April 28, citing the Defense Production Act, the President issued an Executive Order for meat processing facilities to remain open. Critics pointed out the obvious, which was that if employees could not come to work because of their own, or others’ sickness or disease, that the executives could not begin to operate those facilities.

A year earlier, following a fire at a Tyson-owned Holcomb, Kansas beef processing facility, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue had directed the USDA’s Packers and Stockyards Division to launch an “investigation into recent beef pricing margins to determine if Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Did they REALLY say that?, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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