The critical question on the alternative marketing agreements would seem to be: were there market reasons for initiating AMAs? If there were demand and/or cost efficiencies for creating AMAs, those economic reasons for continuing them are likely to persist. The cost of reducing to paper and making public the criteria and non-discriminating conditions for starting, joining, or adding to an existing AMA is likely trivial compared to the market opportunities that AMAs afford. The issue centers on “practices” again, including transparency and availability.

And, again, the decision is whether to change practices or fight in court claiming that moving away from practices that have been found to be “unfair” would be economically disruptive.

Are we missing something here??

Daryll E. Ray holds the Blasingame Chair of Excellence in Agricultural Policy, Institute of Agriculture, University of Tennessee, and is the Director of UT’s Agricultural Policy Analysis Center (APAC). Harwood D. Schaffer is a Research Assistant Professor at APAC. dray@utk.edu  and hdschaffer@utk.edu; http://www.agpolicy.org.