U.S. cattlemen take issue with JBS interest in XL Foods

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JBS USA’s option to buy properties from XL Foods in an agreement following the E. coli scare has some U.S. cattle producers concerned.

Management of the XL Foods plant in Brooks, Alberta was transferred to JBS USA Holdings Inc. before reopening last week.

As part of the agreement, JBS can purchase XL Foods’ Canadian and U.S. operations for $50 million in cash and $50 million in JBS SA shares. Two of the U.S. slaughtering plants reportedly offered in the deal are in Omaha, Neb. and Nampa, Idaho.

The possible sale has some American cattle producers concerned.

The Canadian Press reports the Ranchers-Cattlemen’s Action Legal Fund (R-CALF) predicts the sale would make JBS  USA a dominant player in the beef industry. Bill Bullard, CEO of R-CALF sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack, and USDA Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) Administrator Larry Mitchell asking them to consider the impact on cattle producers and consumers if the sale occurs.

Bullard asks for the deal to be blocked if it would lead to further consolidation in the beef market.

“It is now confirmed that the threat to our cattle industry’s fast-receding competitive marketplace is real and so our requests for an investigation and enforcement action against this threat are now in play,” Bullard said.

According to CTV News, JBS USA and the Canadian Cattlemen's Association aren't concerned about R-CALF's lobbying efforts.

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Alberta  |  October, 31, 2012 at 12:53 AM

From what I read R-Calf has little respect in the US and I know none in Alberta. Amazes me how these nickel outfits get any kind of coverage

c. andrews    
chicago-kansas  |  October, 31, 2012 at 09:38 AM

Thank goodness strong hands stepped in. Consumers first want to know sanitation has been beyond the top priority.

Missouri  |  October, 31, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Al, you need to find additonal sources of information, CALF does indeed have respect from some areas of the U.S. cattle industry, mainly from those who have real bovine s_ _ _ on their boots!

NE  |  October, 31, 2012 at 01:58 PM

I would feed Canadian calves any day of the week. R Calf is a joke. Subsidised corn is a lot bigger problem then XL and what has RCalf done but point fingers at the border. How original.

SD  |  November, 01, 2012 at 07:33 PM

Re. 'real' cattlemen and R-CALF: R-C's follow their leader way too close to do much thinking on their own, or, God forbid, to do their own research on industry issues. In an org. where leadership is so entrenched and controlling that many members have to split off and form a new group to be able to voice their opinions, it should tell the world something about that firmly entrenched 'leadership', shouldn't it?

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