In the U.S. cattle industry, that chain is dominated by just four meatpacking conglomerates, and their profits are raising tensions. While diners at restaurants and shoppers in grocery stores experience sticker shock from sharply higher prices for ground beef and prime steaks, ranchers say they are barely breaking even or, in some cases, losing money.

They point a finger at the Big Four companies, which account for more than 80 percent of the processed beef sold in the United States: Cargill, JBS, Tyson Foods and National Beef.


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