I ran across an article in USA TODAY that talked about the market for beef, and the fact that there really is basically one buyer for beef in each market.
This means that if you're a rancher you'll end up selling the majority (or all...) of your beef to a single company, and that other companies don't appear to be competing to buy your beef. My impression from the article is that the beef packing companies divvy up various cattle ranchers and don't seriously bid for their products; one rancher describes being known as a "swift yard" -- a brand name of JBS meatpacking, and having other packers stop buying his product when that became known.
This is troubling because when there's only one real market for your product, the buyer calls the shots and the price.
If you eat beef, take the time to figure out who's producing it. And if you don't know their name, perhaps you should.
You'll find the original USA TODAY article here.
2 hours ago