The Biden administration has plans to direct $1 billion in American Rescue Plan funding to farmers in a bid to bring down the price of meat in the coming weeks. 

On Monday, the White House announced that President Joe Biden will be meeting virtually with farmers, ranchers and independent meat processors to explain the administration’s plans to increase support for them. What he will share are details of what the White House calls an Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain to boost competition in meat markets, earnings for smaller producers and bringing down prices.

According to a fact sheet provided by the White House, the administration is concerned the meat processing market is too dominated by large firms, which puts consumers and workers alike at the mercy of price spikes. This situation, it contends, is unfair and anti-competitive. 

“When dominant middlemen control so much of the supply chain, they can increase their own profits at the expense of both farmers — who make less — and consumers — who pay more," said the White House.

To cut into this dominance, a multi-pronged approach will be pursued to provide funding to give independent meat producers access to cold storage and other equipment to help in the distribution of their products throughout the supply chain. The administration said it will also work with private lenders to provide independent processors with credit and will devote money to workforce training and safety.

In a break from the Trump administration, the Biden team said that it will also tighten rules and regulations to protect farmworkers from abuse or exploitation. It will also clarify “Product of USA” labeling to re-specify what would qualify. Under current rules, meat raised overseas and processed in the U.S. qualifies, but it is expected that this rule will tighten to include domestic rearing and processing. 

Meat was one of the food items most impacted by inflation, becoming more than 10% more expensive in 2021. As a core element of inflation readings, the bid to cut down meat prices factors into the wider Biden administration plan to focus on reducing inflationary pressures as the midterm elections approach.