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OCM Introduces Hog Competition Fund

by 5m Editor
1 September 2003, at 12:00am

NEBRASKA - The Organization For Competitive Markets (OCM) announced today the introduction of the Hog Competition Fund (HCF).

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Michael Stumo, OCM's legal counsel says the fund will be laser-focused on increasing competition and market fairness in the hog industry while pushing for more aggressive antitrust enforcement.

"Hog producers are suffering from low market prices even as consumer pork prices continue rising at rates above that of general food inflation. Meat packers and retailers are using undue market power to increase their share of the consumer dollar at the expense of both consumers and producers. Further, packers are changing contracts and formula pricing arrangements unilaterally every day to the detriment of producers. HCF will remedy this scenario by incorporating antitrust law and economics to bring the pro-competition effort to a whole new level," asserted Stumo.

Fresh from a swing of hog producer meetings in the Midwest, Stumo says he found considerable producer support for establishing HCF. "I was pleasantly surprised at the extent of positive response," he commented. "Although this effort should have begun 10 years ago, we cannot get to the end unless we start at the beginning. Destruction of the competitive marketplace is the number one threat to independent-owner agriculture."

HCF is a completely voluntary program, allowing hog producers the opportunity to enroll estimated production at a rate of ten cents per head. Producers may make quarterly or annual contributions, which are tax deductible under OCM's nonprofit status.

HCF will begin work immediately under the guidance of a steering committee that includes Stan Rosendahl, Rosendahl Farms, Creston, NE; Dave Bjustrom, Whittemore, IA; Jim Merritt, Elbow Lake, MN; Linus Solberg, Cylinder, IA and Max Waldo, Waldo Farms, DeWitt, NE.

"The HCF Steering Committee will provide practical advice and guidance to guarantee that all efforts focus on the fundamental market concerns at the grassroots level," said Rosendahl. "Those who oppose competition have armies of lawyers, researchers and full time staff working day in and day out to advance their agenda. As a result there are only about 80,000 hog farmers left in America. HCF will be working in tandem with a Research Advisory Committee and Attorney Advisory Committee that include some of the most respected economists, analysts and legal minds available," stated Rosendahl. "The mechanisms are in place to trigger sweeping antitrust and competition reform. I'm thrilled to be part of this effort and I am confident that HCF will be the catalyst for positive change."

Source: Organization for Competitive Markets - 26th August 2003

5m Editor