They say you can’t have too much of good thing; however this does not seem to be the case with mergers and meat associations.

I’m the current Co-President of NAMA (The North American Meat Association) which was the association love child from the marriage between the North American Meat Association and the North American Meat Processors.

It seemed we just got our groove back as one association when yet another merger (with the North American Meat Institute) is on the horizon.

I’m proud to be a member of an association which spans the entire continent; however as a processor I must admit – I’m a little nervous. I am watching our original association of processors being swallowed up by an association that represents all facets of our industry.

As a Canadian watching how eager my American counterparts are to merge with other associations; I wonder why it took them so long to unite their states.

Most in NAMA are excited to merge with AMI, confident that greater numbers will mean a more meaningful representation on Capital Hill. The meat industry will finally speak with one united voice, one message.

Wow, I must have been reading all the wrong American history books. I thought what has made America great is that lone dissenting voice — the “little guy, the “underdog” — the voices of multiple political parties, different opinions and always challenging the status quo.

Although a consolidated meat industry speaking with one voice may appear united and stronger in their conviction, consensus may not allow our industry to continue to progress as it has over the past decades.

Ironically, without the small dissenting voices and after all the mergers, a consolidated voice may not be the message the public wants to hear (or the processor wants to send?).


“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth” — John F. Kennedy