The Role of State-Inspected Slaughter in the U.S. Pork Supply Chain: Program Evaluation, Survey, and Analysis

Date
2021-01-01
Authors
Cook, Holly
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Dermot Hayes
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Economics
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Economics
Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic and other capacity-restricting events have motivated state and federal governments to invest over $100 million in grants for state-inspected meat processing plants. This paper analyzes the role of state-inspected plants, evaluates the Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) program, and summarizes survey data from state-inspected plants and officials. The results of the survey indicate that most state-inspected plants are "small" or "very small," which is reflected in their cumulative production levels. All non-federally inspected hog slaughter accounts for 0.6 percent of total hog slaughter, and state-inspected slaughter comprises an even smaller share. Among the ten states that reported 2020 state totals, state-inspected hog slaughter accounted for 45 percent of non-federally inspected slaughter and just 0.2 percent of total hog slaughter. However, during large plant shutdowns brought on by COVID-19 outbreaks, state-inspected and custom-exempt meat processors were able to significantly increase their slaughter totals from the previous year. This was likely made possible by federal and state grants that encouraged small meat processors to expand and seek interstate shipment eligibility through the Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) program or by switching to federal inspection. A multi-state difference-in-difference analysis failed to produce statistically significant evidence that the CIS program has effectively increased non-federally inspected slaughter within participating states. This result is likely due to the low rates of participation in the program so far, especially among slaughter facilities.

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