Illinois meat store responds to Biden admin accusing producers of illegally fixing prices | Fox Business

The owner of an Illinois retail and wholesale meat store told FOX Business he has been increasing prices for his products as the industry grapples with higher raw material costs, global supply chain challenges and a rebound in demand.

This as the Biden administration announced it plans to take a tougher stance toward meatpacking companies the White House argues are causing higher prices for meat at grocery stores.

Richard Whittingham, the owner of R. Whittingham & Sons Meat Co., told Jeff Flock during an interview on “Cavuto: Coast to Coast” on Thursday that he doesn’t blame the processors for the spike in prices, but acknowledged that “competition never hurts anybody,” noting that “that is what built our country.”

In a Wednesday blog postPresident Biden’s top aides blamed the four companies that control much of the meat processing market in the U.S. for the price spikes.

In the post, the aides acknowledged that “factors like increased consumer demand have played a role” in higher prices, but argued that “the price increases are also driven by a lack of competition at a key bottleneck point in the meat supply chain: meat-processing.”

The aides wrote that “Just four large conglomerates control the majority of the market for each of these three products, and the data show that these companies have been raising prices while generating record profits during the pandemic.”

The post pointed to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which noted that just four firms “control approximately 55-85% of the market” for beef, pork, and poultry, pointing out that the figure reflects “dramatic consolidation of the industry” over the last 50 years.