WDAY: The News Leader

Published February 24, 2011, 03:47 PM

Fargo group starts petition to stop skyrocketing costs of beef

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Prices for ground beef has jumped 24-percent the past decade. Now, a Fargo group is trying to make a change the beef industry, to save you money and put more money back in the pockets of livestock producers.

By: Travis Skonseng, WDAY

The Fargo Chapter of Food and Water Watch have circulated a petition to stop the skyrocketing costs of beef we are paying at grocery stores. Supporters are urging North Dakota Senators John Hoeven and Kent Conrad to co-sponsor the Livestock Marketing Fairness Act.

The bill calls for stricter contracts to better benefit consumers and producers, not meat packers. Cattle prices have only risen 8.5 percent, which is only one third as fast as retail prices have increased with few slaughter firms, producers are getting paid less, while consumers are paying more.

Supporters say there needs to be more transparency so prices can't be distorted.

DEAN HULSE – Supporter: “The Livestock Marketing Fairness Act presents us with an economically feasible solution to the issue of market concentration. It effectively increases competition in fed cattle markets by expanding the number of buyers without breaking up the four packers that currently exist.”

The bill would make contracts based on a formula price. Supporters want lawmakers to push for the reforms in the 2012 Farm Bill.