A class-action lawsuit has been filed in Minnesota federal court that alleges that four large beef-packing companies and an industry information-sharing service have schemed to suppress the prices they pay for cattle and inflate the prices they charge consumers. The lawsuit names Cargill, Tyson Foods, National Beef Packing and JBS USA Food Co. — who collectively control 70% of U.S. beef processing — as defendants. Agri Stats Inc., a price forecasting service for beef, pork and poultry, is also named as a defendant.

The plaintiffs, a beef consumer in Wisconsin and one in Nevada, argue that the decoupling of the price of cattle and the retail price of beef is the result of price-fixing by the meatpacking companies, which boosted their profit margins in recent years. Cattle prices fell in 2015 and have not recovered, while the price of beef at the grocery store remained roughly constant.

This blog is intended to provide information to the general public and to practitioners about developments that may impact Oregon class actions.

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A cattle ranchers’ trade association filed a class action in federal court in Illinois accusing meatpackers including industry powerhouses Tyson, JBS SA, Cargill and National Beef Packing Co. of conspiring to keep down cattle prices. The complaint alleges the meatpackers are seeking to push the cattle industry toward the level of consolidation already seen in poultry processing. Continue reading “Cattle Ranchers File Class Action Against Meatpackers”

Several large U.S. pork companies, including Hormel Foods Corp., Smithfield Foods, Inc., and Tyson Foods Inc., were hit with an antitrust lawsuit this week alleging that they conspire to inflate pork prices in an effort to boost profit at consumers’ expense. The complaint alleges the collusion has been going on since 2009. Continue reading “Antitrust Class Action Filed Against Pork Processors”