John Shively, Kim Walker, and Jennifer Williams Zwagerman of Faegre & Benson attended the fifth and final DOJ-USDA joint workshop in Washington, D.C. on December 8. The workshop was the culmination of a year of sessions held in several cities across the United States focusing on competition and antitrust concerns in various segments of the food and agricultural industries. This final workshop focused on profit margins in the food and agricultural industries. Faegre attorneys also attended each of the previous four workshops which focused on agricultural competition, concentration and integration; the poultry industry; the dairy industry; and the livestock industry (particularly beef and hog industries). A summary and analysis of this final DOJ-USDA workshop and the several issues to watch coming out of these workshops is available on the Faegre & Benson website.
No one yet knows what actions will result from these workshops and the ongoing collaboration between the DOJ and USDA, but we may get some indication of their intentions from the DOJ’s expected decision on its investigation of Monsanto as well as USDA’s release of a final GIPSA rule. We will continue to monitor and report back on these important issues facing the agricultural and food industries.