Unhappy with prices, ranchers look to build own meat plants

The Associated Press - October 17, 2021 7:28 am

FILE - In this June 10, 2020 file photo, cattle occupy a feedlot in Columbus, Neb. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Frustrated with persistently low prices, ranchers and others in the beef industry are moving to reverse a long trend of consolidation and planning to open new slaughterhouses.

The new plants typically cost more than $300 million, but they still will be much smaller than those owned by the four meat company giants that slaughter over 80% of the nation’s cattle. That has led to some skepticism about whether the new independent plants can succeed.

David Briggs is the CEO of a proposed plant in western Iowa. He says acknowledges the tough odds but says cattle people are risk takers.

 

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