Justice Looks into Smithfield-Premium Farms Merger

Some say proposed merger would lesson competition in the marketplace.

The U.S. Department of Justice has announced it plant to take a closer look into the merger between Smithfield Foods and Premium Farms. That announcement pleased Tom Buis, president of the National Farmers Union who argues the merger would remove competition from the marketplace.

"NFU continues to stress that inadequate market competition is one of the most pressing issues facing producers across the country," says Buis. "If approved, Smithfield's sow inventory will top one million. In less than 10 years, this single company has increased its sow ownership twelve-fold through acquisitions and mergers such as the proposed Premium Standard Farms deal."

Buis points out that Smithfield will own nearly 20% of U.S. hogs after the merger.

"The economic impact felt throughout our rural communities when independent hog producers are forced out of business is overwhelmingly negative," Buis says. "Competitive markets provide independent producers and opportunity to get a fair return for their commodities."

The National Farmers Union can be found online at www.nfu.org.

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