New Mexico State Legislature
United States of America

Some 80 percent of the meatpacking industry in the United States is held by only four companies. For decades this concentration has limited the income of cow-calf ranchers and others in the food chain.

The COVID-19 pandemic that started in 2020 has pointed out the ills of this packer concentration for ranchers and consumers alike. The supply chain is fragile. Consumers are now demanding to know where their food comes from. And they’re demonstrating a preference for purchasing locally grown meat in growing numbers.

While some 27 states have adopted their own meat inspection program, New Mexico does not currently have laws and rules in place that would foster locally grown meat products. But New Mexicans can benefit from a state-adopted meat inspection program.

According to the New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA), 99% of New Mexico’s cattle are sent out of state for processing. In addition, 97% of New Mexico’s agricultural products leave the state, but we end up importing more than $4 billion in food products every year.

We, the undersigned, call on state legislators to support House Bill 33 (HB33), Livestock Board Meat Inspections.

This legislation will provide additional opportunities and markets for New Mexico producers. It would allow local producers the opportunity to sell their product in-state instead of having it shipped out of state for processing and then back again once processed. Passage of this legislation will likely allow for increased profit for producers.

Our local food systems would be strengthened with the passage of this legislation. It allows consumers to purchase locally sourced proteins. It could also provide additional opportunities to get locally sourced and grown food into schools, senior centers, and other local facilities.

Other states have reported benefits from the implementation of a state-run program including training requirements that surpass federal standards, faster turnaround time on approvals of paperwork and labels, and more frequent reviews of operations.

We thank Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham for her support. Your support, members of the legislature, is important to the ranchers and consumers of this state and will make a difference to their businesses.

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The Support State Meat Inspections petition to New Mexico State Legislature was written by Matt Kennicott and is in the category Government at GoPetition.