Meat Industry Monopoly

Although it seems like there are various sources for one to choose their meat from, the meat industry is one large monopoly. In America, “Four companies make 85 percent of America‚Äôs beef and 65 percent of its pork. Just three companies make almost half of all chicken.” Companies such as Tyson and Cargill Inc. are able to control the supply of meat by owning every mean of production. For example, Tyson owns the breeding company where birds are raised, the hatcheries where chicks are born, the feed mills that are used to fatten chicks up, the slaughterhouse where the birds are processed, and the trucking that helps deliver the meat. Since Tyson Food, is able to control the means of production they are also able to control the price.

Due to this monopoly, meat prices have been climbing. In 2008, the meat industry was experiencing a number of set backs which affected chicken consumption. In order to solve this issue, Tyson associates decided “They needed to cut back production to keep chicken supplies lower. That would soon help drive prices up.” Although this change hurt the company for the first few weeks, it eventually worked to their benefit. In a matter of weeks, the price of boneless chicken rose by 20 cents(and is still climbing) and Tyson Food was profitable again. By Tyson being able to create high barriers to entry by controlling the means to production and drive prices up, proves that Tyson Food is a monopoly.

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2014/03/meat_racket_excerpt_how_tyson_keeps_chicken_prices_high.html

1 Comment »

  1. withersm Said,

    December 7, 2016 @ 3:01 pm

    I believe that Tyson and Cargill will remain in power because the barriers to entry are too great. With such a sophisticated industry, one my find it hard to enter, especially when consumers are already loyal to certain brands.

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