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4 criteria to judge Packers and Stockyards Act

Comment on criteria Agricultural Marketing Service will use until March 13, 2020.

A new proposed rule specifying four criteria the Agricultural Marketing Service would consider when determining whether an undue or unreasonable preference or advantage has occurred in violation of the Packers and Stockyards Act has been published in the Federal Register. The public may comment on the proposed criteria until March 13, 2020.

The P&S Act states that it is unlawful for a packer, swine contractor or live poultry dealer to make or give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to a seller or grower of livestock or poultry. An undue or unreasonable preference or advantage is an action that creates excessively favorable conditions for one or more persons, reducing opportunities for optimal pricing and business success for competitors.

The proposed criteria will serve as a basis to determine whether these differences are a reasonable and fair preference or advantage. Under the proposed rule, USDA would consider whether a preference or advantage meets one or more of the criteria below:

  1. cannot be justified on the basis of a cost savings related to dealing with different producers, sellers, or growers.
  2. cannot be justified on the basis of meeting a competitor’s prices.
  3. cannot be justified on the basis of meeting other terms offered by a competitor and,
  4. cannot be justified as a reasonable business decision that would be customary in the industry.

USDA would not be limited to considering only these four criteria, but could also take other factors into consideration as appropriate on a case-by-case basis.

These criteria are being provided for public comment for 60 days. Comments must be submitted through and should reference the document number on the top of the first page of the proposed rule, along with the Federal Register date and page number where the published proposed rule is located. AMS will make all submitted comments available to the public, including the identity of the commenter and any personal information provided.

Source: USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset. 
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