| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2010
TDD (202) 514-1888
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND USDA ANNOUNCE
Workshop to be Held at the U.S. Department of Agriculture
WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today the agenda and panelists for the Dec. 8, 2010, joint public workshop on margins in agriculture. This workshop, the last in a series of five, is focused on the margins at various levels of the agricultural supply chain.
The workshop will be held in the Jefferson Auditorium of USDA's South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue S.W., Washington, D.C. Attendance is free and open to the public. The general public and media interested in attending the workshop should register at www.surveymonkey.com/s/marginsworkshop.
The workshop will begin with opening remarks by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Following the introduction, there will be four panels composed of producers, academics and other industry stakeholders. First, Secretary Vilsack, Attorney General Holder and Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Antitrust Division Christine Varney, will moderate a discussion that includes participants at each level of the agricultural supply chain. Second, a panel on margins in the dairy industry will look at the costs and profits from farmers to retailers. The third panel of the day will look at issues in the retail sector, examining concentration, margins and similar trends. The final panel will discuss margins in the livestock and poultry industries. The workshop will conclude with remarks from Assistant Attorney General Varney.
Additionally, there will be two hours dedicated to public testimony. This will be split into two sessions, one at mid-day and the other after the final panel.
The schedule for the day is as follows:
Eric Holder, Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice
Panelists will offer their perspective on supply chain issues that impact producers, processors, retailers and consumers.
Ben Burkett, producer and local distributor, Mississippi Association of Cooperatives
This panel will discuss the various levels of the dairy supply chain, offering explanations for recent trends and the effects of these trends.
Eunice Biel, dairy producer, Minnesota
This panel will examine retailing sector trends and incentives relating to supply arrangements, product placement and consumer choice, and possible explanations on how they have occurred and the impact on all levels of the supply chain.
Albert A. Foer, president, American Antitrust Institute
This panel will look at trends in the beef, pork and poultry industries. Panelists will discuss the division of the retail dollar, possible explanations for changes and the margins in which the market participants operate in general.
John Crespi, professor of economics, Kansas State University
Christine Varney, Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice
Additional information, including submitted public comments and transcripts for past workshops can be found at the Antitrust Division's agriculture workshop website at www.justice.gov/atr/public/workshops/ag2010/index.htm. While no streaming webcast will be available, transcripts and video will be available for this workshop at a later date on the Antitrust Division's website. Individuals seeking more information on the workshops should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media who wish to attend the workshop may begin arriving at 7:00 a.m. EST and cameras must be pre-set by 7:30 a.m. EST. The closest Metro station to the Jefferson Auditorium of USDA's South Building is Smithsonian.
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