Business News: Carbon bank for farmers under examination.
The Biden administration has launched an in-depth investigation into the structure of a carbon market that would encourage broad participation by American farmers, including the ability to secure a minimum price for credits granted for emission reductions, it said Friday. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
“We will thoroughly explore how to structure a carbon bank that is designed and beneficial to farmers,” Vilsack said in an interview with Bloomberg News. “Does this require a carbon price guarantee? Does it require a program that invests and provides funds for the capital costs associated with carbon capture? “
Vislack also cited antitrust as an area of concern. During the Democratic primary campaign, several candidates focused attention on complaints that consolidation in agri-food companies such as meat packing and seed companies has harmed farmers.
Last week, Vilsack named Andy Green as a Senior Competition Advisor. Green was previously a member of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, which published critical reports on concentration in agribusiness.
The agriculture secretary said the department will specifically focus on meat and poultry processors following industry disruptions during the pandemic and other events.
“You need to focus on processing capacity in the country and whether or not it is incredibly concentrated and that not only creates problems with competition but, importantly, also creates resilience problems with the supply chain,” he said.
Vilsack also warned in the interview that despite large Chinese purchases that have recently revived agricultural markets, the Asian nation remains a fickle trading partner that can change direction if geopolitical tensions escalate. He also promised a “thorough investigation” of competition in the livestock markets, which are now dominated by some large meat and poultry processors.