Packers say: ‘We’re not to blame for high meat prices’
The chief executives of the nation’s four largest meatpacking companies said on Wednesday that they were not the cause of surging meat prices at the grocery store, which are up by 15 percent in a year. And they told a skeptical House Agriculture chairman David Scott there was no pact to drive up profits at the expense of consumers or limit the meat supply for Americans.
Biden Administration taps USDA emergency fund for food aid overseas
Six countries in Africa and the Middle East will receive $670 million in additional food aid to mitigate severe food insecurity, said the Biden administration on Wednesday. The assistance will mean the complete drawdown of a USDA emergency fund for the purchase of U.S. commodities for donation to hunger programs overseas.
USDA adds $263 million for bird flu costs
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack approved the second infusion of additional funding to the agency fighting outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza from the Atlantic to the Rockies, said the USDA on Wednesday.
Today’s Quick Hits
Earth in crisis: Up to 40 percent of the land on Earth is degraded, affecting half of the world’s population, said a UN report that calls on governments and industries to preserve ecosystems and rehabilitate damaged lands. (Inside Climate News)
Inflation tests meat demand: With high retail prices expected to last through 2022, Americans “may trade down at the meat case” to stretch their grocery dollar, a shift that would benefit chicken sales and hurt beef. (CoBank)
‘Dessert for breakfast’: Food companies should stop selling breakfast foods to schools that contain as much sugar as the cookies they sell for dessert at home, said the Center for Science in the Public Interest. (CSPI)
Fertilizer costs threaten harvests: High fertilizer prices “cast a shadow on future harvests” around the world, especially in low-income countries, where farmers will be priced out of the market and have to accept lower yields. (IFPRI)