National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response to reports that Tyson Foods won a bidding war to acquire Hillshire Brands:
“Tyson Food’s likely purchase of Hillshire benefits corporate owners at the expense of farmers and consumers. Our country is worse off because of the increasingly consolidated food and agriculture marketplace. Farmers and ranchers will have fewer buyers and Tyson will be better able to dictate lower prices paid to producers. Closures of meatpacking and processing facilities, especially in areas where both Tyson and Hillshire are currently operating, will be all but assured.
“We’re already well on our way to having one giant food company and this purchase would send us farther down that path.
“It’s striking that last week marked 100 years since the enactment of the Clayton Act, which was designed to prohibit anti-competitive mergers and ensure a fair marketplace. On behalf of family farmers and ranchers, I urge the Department of Justice enforce existing anti-trust laws and halt this planned acquisition. NFU will continue to fight against this and other mergers that will stack the deck further in favor of the powerful, multi-national food companies.”
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.