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Meat Processing Facilities

February 11, 2022
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WRITTEN BY Dr. Eleni Bickell

Executive Summary 

Meat slaughter and processing facilities are an important part of the meat production chain. The number of available meat processing facilities can affect the prices of meat for both producers and consumers. There are currently 217 meat processing facilities in Missouri that are inspected under federal or state jurisdiction. Several bills in 2022 (SB 644, HB 2126) would extend tax credits that would be used for the expansion or modernization of meat processing facilities in Missouri until December 31, 2028.  

Highlights 

  • Livestock processing facilities, which handle animals such as cattle, sheep, swine, and goats, are inspected by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).
    • In states like Missouri, the authority that FSIS has may be designated to a state agency, as long as the state requirements are “at least equal to” those enforced by FSIS.
  • The Missouri Meat and Poultry Inspection Program (MMPIP) offers equal inspection authority and service within the state of Missouri as FSIS. Any meat processed under MMPIP inspection and sold within the state of Missouri is offered the same privileges and exemptions as USDA-inspected meat products.
  • Market concentration, geography and transportation costs, alternative marketing arrangements (AMAs), cattle cycles, and packing capacity impact the price that beef producers receive at the meat processing facilities.
  • The number of local, spread-out across different areas, beef processing plants may impact beef prices and the competitiveness of fed cattle pricing in aggregate.
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