The price of food has risen faster than most other goods, largely as a result of greedflation
Boneless chicken prices increased at double the rate of overall inflation, while potato prices are up 60%
Tyson Foods, Smithfield, and other big agribusinesses have reported record profits and have been accused of illegal price fixing
Casey also sent letter to FTC and USDA urging them to investigate possible unfair pricing practices of major chicken and pork processors
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Subcommittee on Children & Families, released a new greedflation report entitled “Stuffing Their Pockets: How Big Food and Agriculture Businesses Are Making Your Holiday Meals More Expensive.” The report examines how the agribusiness companies that process Americans’ food have increased prices for everyday staple foods and raises questions about why those price increases are necessary. As the holiday season approaches, the report examines how the price of food has risen faster than most other goods, straining family budgets and taking a bite out of holiday celebrations. Prices for many holiday meal staples, including chicken, pork, and potatoes, are rising faster than headline inflation, earning companies billions and costing consumers. Some of these companies have a history of engaging in price-fixing, colluding to raise prices, anti-competitive conduct, and touting their ability to raise prices without limit.
“As Pennsylvania families prepare for the holidays, they’re seeing higher prices on everything from chicken to pork to potatoes,” said Senator Casey. “These higher prices are the result of greedflation—big food and agriculture businesses are gobbling up Pennsylvanians’ paychecks simply because they can. I’m taking steps to fight back so we can make corporations pay their fair share and put more money in the pockets of working families.”
While inflation has stressed family budgets in recent years, data shows that it has recently moderated. Despite this drop, consumers are still feeling pinched because many corporations continue to raise prices on consumers—not to offset inflation—but to increase their own profits. This practice, known as greedflation, is costing American consumers more than ever. Senator Casey’s previous report on greedflation found that corporate profits accounted for all the inflation in the first year of the pandemic recovery (roughly July 2020 to July 2021) and 41 percent of inflation overall in the first two years of the post-pandemic recovery (July 2020 to July 2022). Today’s report goes in depth on the disproportionate greedflation hitting the prices of holiday food staples. Read the full report on “Stuffing Their Pockets: How Big Food and Agriculture Businesses Are Making Your Holiday Meals More Expensive,” here.
In the report, Senator Casey outlines his strategy for fighting inflation, which includes stronger enforcement of existing consumer protection laws. Today, Casey sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission and United States Department of Agriculture requesting that the agencies use all necessary resources to investigate possible unfair pricing practices of major chicken and pork processors in the United States. Read Senator Casey’s letter here.
In the letter, Senator Casey wrote, “Families in Pennsylvania and across the Nation deserve to know whether these high prices are the result of genuine economic pressures on the industry, or whether they are artificial actions taken to enrich those at the top. Inflation is real, and we owe it to working families to ensure that we are taking every action possible to prevent bad actors from making it worse for their own gain.”