Friday, December 15, 2017

Farmers sue to retain market protection

An organization representing family farmers is suing the United States government to retain legislation that protects them in marketing to big companies.

The lawsuit seeks to reinstate the rules which “prohibit major meat and poultry producers who contract with farmers from engaging in unfair and deceptive practices,” the organization said in a news release.

The rule “would have allowed farmers to hold agribusinesses accountable for practices like retaliation, bad faith cancellation of contracts, or collusion efforts to force farmers out of the market,” the group said.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s move to halt the rule makes it effectively impossible for farmers to bring unfair practices claims, it said.

The Organization for Competitive Markets is being represented on a pro bono basis by Democracy Forward, a nonprofit legal organization.

The suit, which is in the form of a petition for review, was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals.