Leading grocery store operators ended 2021 with a lawsuit against the pork industry for allegedly conspiring to control the industry and raise prices.
Kroger, Albertsons, Hy-Vee and others filed the lawsuit against Hormel, JBS USA, Seaboard Foods, Smithfield, Triumph and Tyson, among others last week.
Law Street Media reports the plaintiffs alleged the defendants and Indiana Packers Corporation entered “into a conspiracy from at least 2009 to the present to fix, raise, maintain, and stabilize the price of pork.” And the grocery store operators are seeking damages to the maximum extent allowed under law.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court of Northern California. The petitioners claim Agri Stats, an ag industry data provider, held a central role in the conspiracy.
The complaint claims that beginning in 2008 or before, Agri Stats proposed a series of benchmarks to the pork industry to monitor pork production as a way to "increase their profits in the sale of pork and not to increase their pork production."