Reading Time: 2 minutes It comes after the Biden-Harris administration was criticized for allocating funds to combat climate change without promoting plant-based diets Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The US government is set to invest a staggering $500 million to expand meat production efforts and encourage competition.

The US Department of Agriculture made the announcement under an executive order from POTUS Joe Biden.

It comes as a result of the industry taking a hit following the COVID-19 pandemic.

US government meat expansion

President Biden recently announced the executive order with a view to ‘promoting competition’ and increase wages on a widespread scale.

It’s a move designed to boost and expand the animal agriculture industry, and offer more opportunities for family farmers.

And, it came as the White House spoke out about a handful of larger companies holding the most space in the market – with plans to switch it to offer ‘fair’ competition.

‘In short, family farmers and ranchers are getting less. Consumers are paying more, and the big conglomerates in the middle are taking the difference’, it added.

One of the changes proposed by the USDA includes a tournament system within the poultry industry and stricter regulations.

‘Shifting power back to the people’

“The COVID-19 pandemic led to massive disruption for growers, food workers, and consumers alike. It exposed a food system that was rigid, consolidated, and fragile.”

Tom Vilsack, Agriculture Secretary

The USDA is offering an additional $150 million for small-scale processing facilities, it revealed in a media release.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said: “The COVID-19 pandemic led to massive disruption for growers, food workers, and consumers alike. It exposed a food system that was rigid, consolidated, and fragile.

“Meanwhile, those growing, processing, and preparing our food are earning less each year in a system that rewards size over all else.”

However, he said the funding move will ‘shift power back to the people’.

Additionally, it’s a decision that could propel the meat market despite the staggering growth in demand for plant-based alternatives as a result of COVID-19.

Animal agriculture

Whilst the move is billed to diversify the food system, the US government has already been criticized for funding decisions linked to animal agriculture and the environment.

For example, President Joe Biden announced a $2 trillion proposal to tackle climate change and ‘strengthen infrastructure’.

However, the plan did not include any encouragement to avoid animal products. This is despite the links between animal agriculture and environmental collapse.

The Biden-Harris administration also received multiple requests to phase out factory farming for good.

Emily is a News and Features Writer for Plant Based News. She has previously worked as a journalist in Devon, UK, reporting on local issues from politics to the environment.