April 3, 2019
Tyson Foods, other poultry processors allegedly fixed prices, lawsuit claims
Tyson Foods, Inc., Pilgrim's Pride Corp and other US-based poultry processors have been hit by a lawsuit alleging that the companies conspired to inflate chicken prices, Food Business News reported.
The lawsuit was launched by Kraft Heinz Co., Conagra Brands, Inc., Nestle USA Inc. and Nestle Purina Petcare Co. on March 29 in Chicago's federal court.
The poultry companies had allegedly been fixing prices from 2008 to 2016, court documents showed. This was done through a coordinated effort to cull chickens in order to cut broilers supply and push up prices.
The suit dealt with the price fixing of broiler chickens "…via unprecedented cuts at the top of the supply chain in the form of jointly and collusively reducing 'breeder flocks' that produce chickens ultimately slaughtered for meat consumption."
Pilgrim's Pride, Tyson Foods, Fieldale Farms, Perdue, Sanderson Farms, Koch Foods, Claxton Poultry, Harrison Poultry, Mar-Jac and Wayne Farms were also part of a group (called the "Georgia Dock Defendants" in the lawsuit) that fixed broiler chicken prices on the Georgia Dock, the second part of the suit revealed.
It was claimed that "senior executives from eight of the 10" in that group were also "members of a secretive 'Georgia Dock Advisory Board,' which played a role in the compilation and manipulation of the Georgia Dock benchmark price."
So far, Tyson Foods has refuted the allegations. Lawsuits, like the one the company currently faces, "are common in antitrust litigation," Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson said. "Such complaints do not change our position that the claims are unfounded. We will continue to vigorously defend our company."
Other defendants named in the latest lawsuit include House of Raeford Farms Inc., Fieldale Farms Corp., George's Inc., Simmons Foods Inc., O.K. Foods Inc., Foster Farms L.L.C., Mountaire Farms Inc. and Agri Stats Inc.
- Food Business News