Federal antitrust top cop Christine Varney has been talking to farmers across the nation lately about anti-competitive agricultural markets. On March 29, she'll be at Genesee Community College to get an earful from New York's dairy farmers.
Farmers apparently have Senator Chuck Schumer to thank for the visit.
Varney is making the trip at Schumer’s request, according to WICZ, a Binghamton, N.Y., television station. “For too long farmers have been receiving rock-bottom prices for their product, while prices have not dropped commensurately for consumers at the stores,” Schumer said. “It just doesn’t add up.”
The Department of Justice has a new gleam in its eye lately for going after price-fixing in ag markets. From a Huffington Post account of a recent DOJ panel on agriculture in Ankeny, Iowa:
Closing out the first panel was DOJ antitrust chief, Christine Varney, who was widely recognized as the driving force behind the antitrust hearings. Speaking about the realities of U.S. antitrust law and realalistic enforcement expectations, Varney promised a tough stance from her office and a clear signal that a new sheriff is in town.
Meanwhile, here in Delaware County, dairy farmer John Bunting is encouraging his fellow farmers to put pressure on Dairy Farmers of America to advocate for better farm prices. DFA, the nation's largest milk co-op, has been accused of colluding with Dean Foods, the nation's largest buyer of milk.
**Update: This post originally stated Varney's visit would be on the 27th. The Main Justice story we linked to has the date wrong--Varney is visiting Genesee on Monday, March 29.