WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced additional details for the Dec. 8, 2010, public workshop in Washington, which will examine the issue of margins at various levels of the agricultural supply chain. The workshop will be held in the Jefferson Auditorium at USDA, which is accessible through a designated entrance on Independence Avenue between 12th and 14th Streets, S.W.
This is the fifth in a series of five workshops intended to promote dialogue among interested parties and foster learning with respect to competition and regulatory issues in agriculture. The first workshop was held in March in Ankeny, Iowa, with a focus on row crops and hogs. Held in Normal, Ala, in May, the second workshop addressed issues in the poultry industry. The third workshop focused on issues in the dairy industry and was held in Madison, Wis., in June. The fourth workshop, held in August in Fort Collins, Colo., looked at the livestock industry.
The workshops, which were first announced by Attorney General Eric Holder and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Aug. 5, 2009, are the first joint Department of Justice/USDA workshops ever to be held to discuss competition and regulatory issues in the agriculture industry.
Attendance at the workshops is free and open to the public. The general public and media interested in attending the Washington workshop on Dec. 8, 2010, should register at www.surveymonkey.com/s/marginsworkshop.
The workshop will begin with opening remarks from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division Christine Varney. The workshop will then move on to a series of panels discussing topics such as supply chain dynamics, issues in food retailing and margins in the beef, pork, poultry and dairy industries. Each panel will feature producers and industry representatives as well as academics with extensive research experience in the relevant field. Additionally, there will be two opportunities for public testimony from those attending the workshop.
Additional details on the schedule and panelists will be provided at a later date. For further information, including submitted public comments, transcripts and videos for past workshops, please visit the Antitrust Division’s agriculture workshop website at www.justice.gov/atr/public/workshops/ag2010/index.htm or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.