Chairman Krishnamoorthi Seeks Information from Major U.S. Meat Processing Companies on Rising Prices and Profits

Jan 25, 2022
Press Release
Subcommittee to Investigate Possible Predatory Business Practices

Washington, D.C. (January 25, 2022)—Today, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, sent letters to four major meat processing companies—Tyson Foods, JBS Foods, National Beef, and Seaboard—requesting information about alarming price increases on beef, pork, and chicken products.  Over the past year, the cost of these products has risen for American families, while profits for all four companies have soared.

 

“While some companies may claim that the high prices feeding these outsized profits are explained by higher input costs, earnings data tell a different story,” Chairman Krishnamoorthi wrote.  “I am deeply concerned that meat processing conglomerates may have engaged in predatory business practices, at the expense of consumers, during the pandemic.”

 

In the last year, and amid the COVID-19 pandemic, beef prices have risen nearly 19%, while the price of pork has increased by 15%, and poultry prices have gone up by almost 10%.  At the same time, net profit margins for the four biggest meatpacking companies have shot up over 300% since the start of the pandemic, while the net income of all four companies has soared by 500%.  The companies have also rewarded shareholders with billions of dollars spent on new dividends and stock buybacks.  This demonstrates that these four companies, which control between 55% and 85% of the beef, pork, and poultry markets in the United States, may not be reacting to market forces, but rather making a choice to increase their profits at the expense of American families.

 

In today’s letters, Chairman Krishnamoorthi requested information and documents from each company explaining their decision to increase the prices of their products despite rising profits, as well as any known federal and state investigations related to these price increases.

 

Click here to read the letter to Tyson Foods.

 

Click here to read the letter to JBS Foods.

 

Click here to read the letter to National Beef.

 

Click here to read the letter to Seaboard.

 

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117th Congress