When the U.S. Ag Department sets its 2019 regulatory agenda, it will deal with the unsettled matter of rules governing interactions between contract producers and meatpackers. USDA is looking at bringing back the rulemaking process designed to balance the power between the two sides.
Last year, Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue made the decision to withdraw the final rule drafted during the Obama Administration. The rule lowered the bar for poultry and livestock producers to sue the meatpacking or processing companies they have contracts with. The Organization for Competitive Markets filed a lawsuit against the USDA when it vacated the 2015 rule and elected to take no further action to defend contract growers from unfair packer business practices.