FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 14, 2008
Slowdown on JBS-Swift Proposed Acquisition
GREAT FALLS, MT (March 14, 2008) – The Montana Farmers Union today offered its support to National Farmers Union’s request of U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey that he conduct an anti-trust investigation into the JBS-Swift proposal to purchase the United States’ fourth and fifth largest beef processors and largest cattle feedlot operation.
“Montana’s family ranchers, as well as consumers, stand to lose on several fronts if this purchase is approved,” said MFU President Alan Merrill. “This kind of consolidation in the cattle industry and the beef processing market severely limits competition. An in-depth anti-trust investigation should be completed before any purchase takes place.”
JBS-Swift has proposed purchasing National Beef Packing, LLC, the nation’s fourth largest beef packer; Smithfield Beef, the fifth largest beef processor; and Five Rivers Ranch Cattle Feeding, LLC, the nation’s largest cattle feedlot operation. If these acquisitions take place, the Brazil-based company JBS-Swift will have a daily slaughter capacity of more than 42,000 head within the U.S., making it the largest U.S. beef processor.