May 15, 2024


US lawsuit against Pilgrim's Pride for not compensating broiler producers given go ahead




A federal judge in Oklahoma, the United States, recently granted a class certification that accuses Pilgrim's Pride Corp. and other poultry producers of not compensating broiler chicken growers in the United States.


The lawsuit stated that 24,354 growers are seeking payment for an alleged conspiracy to suppress their wages since at least 2008. According to the plaintiffs' documents, Pilgrim's and its co-conspirators participated in a conspiracy using either a no-poach agreement (NPA) and/or an information sharing agreement (ISA).


The NPA allegedly stopped "poaching, soliciting or recruiting growers from one another." Plaintiffs also stated that growers would rarely switch between integrators and were discouraged from moving into areas with an existing integrator as they could not recruit established growers.


Pilgrim's remains the only defendant in this case after other poultry businesses, including Tyson Foods Inc., Koch Foods and Perdue Foods, settled for millions of dollars over the last few years.


Opposing class certification, Pilgrim's Pride reiterated its position that there was not an overarching agreement among the poultry companies. The company has previously denied the allegations in other court filings.

- Meat + Poultry

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