The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has taken steps to help “minimize the inevitable economic disruption and help the industry recover as quickly as possible," according to president Jennifer Houston.
In a letter to Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Heath Tarbert, NCBA Senior Vice President for government affairs Colin Woodall said the closure of the Tyson plant is causing significant disruptions “due to uncertainty” of where cattle will be processed. He said while the industry is working to find other locations to process cattle, “We need risk management tools and markets that work.”
Woodall asked the CFTC to keep an “even closer eye on the cattle markets to ensure that no market participant tries to use the uncertainty to manipulate or illegally take advantage of the situation. We do not have any accusations to make, we simply ask that CFTC remain vigilant.”
In an email to NCBA members, Houston outline efforts the organization has taken.
* NCBA reached out to the National Economic Council at the White House to inform them of the situation and ask them to help with regulatory flexibility.
* NCBA contacted the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Packers and Stockyards Division to request they keep an eye on the market to make sure it keeps working, and to identify any market participant who might try to illegally capitalize from the market situation.
* NCBA requested U.S. Department of Transportation provide an Hours of Service waiver to allow trucks to transport live cattle to other plants for processing.
* NCBA contacted Secretary Perdue’s office and other USDA leadership to inform them of the uncertainty this brings to our industry, and requested they work on APHIS and FSIS inspector flexibility to help the industry meet our needs while the Tyson facility is being repaired.
* NCBA staff informed Senate and House Agriculture Committee Staff of the situation and our requests of flexibility to the Administration.
* NCBA also followed up on phone calls with official letters of request to DOT, USDA, and CFTC for regulatory flexibility.
NCBA says it will continue to engage on this issue on behalf of its members and the beef community as a whole until the plant is again operational.