Although I don’t have a link to support my assertions, there are some pretty basic moneymaking principles behind the chicken companies’ requirements. If they require that all chicken farmers that are producing for the company to use the company’s equipment, the chicken company then doesn’t have to compete with other equipment sellers and manufacturers. So the company can sell their equipment for more than the farmer would pay if the farmer was able to get his or her equipment elsewhere. This cost could get handed down to the consumer, but it could also result in the company not needing to charge as much for chicken, since they’re making money on equipment sales.
These requirements could also but a damper on innovations that could bring consumers healthier, better-farmed chicken. Since the company decides what equipment the farmers get, the farmers do not get the chance to explore newer, higher quality, more efficient technologies.
These are just some speculations, but they certainly do seem possible.
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