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How U.S. Beef Imports Are Hurting Americans

By Good Ranchers

February 25th, 2022

4.4 Billion, that’s how many pounds of foreign beef the US imported in 2020. Who feels and carries the weight of that 4.4 billion pounds? It isn’t the government that repealed C.O.O.L (country of origin laws) and let foreign goods impersonate American made products. It’s the local farmers and ranchers, and American families that foot the bill on imported beef. Here’s how US beef imports are hurting Americans.


1. YOU

It may not seem like it, but the person this hurts closest to home is you. Your food supply should not be outsourced for the sake of profit and then disguised by labeling. It’s like most of the beef in the store is constantly in their Halloween costume; except instead of trying to be scary, they are donning a mask to hide the true horror of their origin and the damage they've caused.

We want the message to get out that who you think you’re supporting, and what you think you’re eating may not be true. Do we hope you try our product? Of course! But more than that, we want you to know that taking one extra step to support American ranches can make a huge difference in today’s market. You and your family getting high-quality foods is what is at stake, and at steak, first and foremost. So don’t take your grocery store or other online meat boxes at face value. Make sure your meals come from real, local, American sources.

Point #1: You can’t trust traditional supply chains to bring you the quality and price you deserve. 4.4 billion pounds of imported goods have taken our money and robbed us of being able to fully support American Ranchers. We need to push back for the sake of being able to trust what we eat, know what we buy, and support what we value.

2. American Farms & Ranches

4.4 billion pounds comes out to nearly 2 million metric tons of imported beef in 2020. For every 1 pound of beef we export, we import 1.5 - 2.0 pounds of foreign beef. We’ve been trading at this deficit consistently for years now. What does it do? It floods the market with cheap products that the average American farm & ranch can’t compete with.

These foreign goods aren’t even USDA graded, but they can earn a “Product of the USA” label by being minimally processed here after being imported in. They’re a lower price because they are often lower quality. That’s why many groups that represent American farmers & ranchers have fought to have legislation put back in place to let true American products obtain the "Product of USA" label exclusively. Unfortunately, this has been to no avail, and the cheap copycats continue to come in faster and gain more shelf space.

Point #2: This large importation of foreign meat undermines our own industry in a lot of ways. With over 85% of grass-fed beef being sold coming from overseas, we need to reinvest in our American farmers & ranchers more than ever. Our government won’t put America first, but we can.

3. Our Domestic Food Supply Chain

How much more of the market will continue to be filled by foreign goods? Our over-importation can drive prices down and make competition impossible for many small, local farms & ranches here in the States. That’s one reason why since 2015, over 100,000 independent farms & ranches here in the USA have closed down. Numbers like that are what drive our mission of supporting Americans more than ever. We need to reverse that number and strengthen our domestic food supply before there are more foreign steaks than domestic.

Point #3: Why should generations of tradition on American ranches be sacrificed for grass-fed beef that lacks a USDA grade and flavor? A few cents to us isn’t a good enough reason. You can find imported goods most everywhere you look, but you won’t find them here. At Good Ranchers, we’re proud to be one of the only 100% American meat boxes on the market. We are American Meat Delivered.

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