Washington, D.C.—Ahead of the fifth and final Department of Justice (DOJ) and USDA workshop on competition in agriculture, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) focused on the role that farmer-owned co-ops play in giving individual producers a stake in the food marketplace beyond the farm gate.
The final workshop will be held Wednesday, December 8th in the Jefferson Auditorium at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. The hearing will focus on margins in the food and agriculture sector.
“Since the first of these workshops was held in Iowa back in March, one consistent theme has been that farmers and ranchers across the country need tools to help them compete on a more level playing field with companies up and down the value chain,” said Chuck Conner, president & CEO of NCFC. “Over the course of these workshops, testimony from producers and others has shown that farmer co-ops are a key to achieving this goal and giving farmers the ability to improve their income from the marketplace while ensuring fair prices to consumers.”
“I would also like to commend Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Attorney General Eric Holder, and Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney for holding these workshops and ensuring that all sides have a voice,” Conner continued. “Enacting public policy that recognizes the hard work and values of America’s farmers and ranchers is essential to agriculture, and the best way to do that is to hear directly from producers. These workshops have helped further that goal.”
Since 1929, NCFC has been the voice of America’s farmer cooperatives. Our members are regional and national farmer cooperatives, which are in turn composed of nearly 3,000 local farmer cooperatives across the country. NCFC members also include 26 state and regional councils of cooperatives. Farmer cooperatives allow individual farmers the ability to own and lead organizations that are essential for continued competitiveness in both the domestic and international markets.
America’s farmer-owned cooperatives provide a comprehensive array of services for their members. These diverse organizations handle, process and market virtually every type of agricultural commodity. They also provide farmers with access to infrastructure necessary to manufacture, distribute and sell a variety of farm inputs. Additionally, they provide credit and related financial services, including export financing.