Pilgrim’s Pride Agrees $ 75 Million Settlement for Price-Fixing Claims
Pilgrim’s Pride, one of the country’s largest chicken processors, has achieved a $ 75 million deal to resolve pricing complaints. The company will spit out the biggest settlement to date in a lengthy legal battle over alleged collusion between the companies that dominate the $ 65 billion U.S. chicken industry.
The deal comes just three months after the company agreed to an amount of $ 110.5 million very well with the Department of Justice. In the deal, which officials said involved three contracts to sell chicken products to a customer in the United States, the DOJ would not lay further charges against the company or recommend a controller or a period. probationary.
In June, a federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court in Denver, Colorado, indicted Jayson Penn, then chief executive officer of the company, as well as former Pilgrim’s Pride vice president Roger Austin, for their role in a conspiracy to fix prices and rig deals for broilers across the country at least as well from 2012 until 2017. Claxton Poultry President Mikell Fries and Vice President Scott Brady have also been charged.
Lawyers representing the chicken buyers alleged that Pilgrim’s Pride, in addition to Tyson Foods, Sanderson Farms and Perdue Farms, had a plan to track each other’s operations through an industry benchmarking service and by coordinating submissions to a chicken price index for the purpose of maintaining chicken prices. artificially inflated. The companies disputed the claims, saying the higher prices were in fact inflated due to higher grain costs and growing demand for chickens. This isn’t the first time companies have found themselves in hot water as buyers of poultry, including Chick-fil-A and Target Corp. sued major U.S. chicken producers for fixing the price of meat for years.
Mainly owned by Brazilian meat packer JBS SA, Pilgrim’s Pride is the country’s second largest supplier of broilers behind Tyson Foods. Pilgrim’s Pride’s biggest customers are wholesaler Costco and the Kentucky Fried Chicken fast food chain. Broiler chickens are bred and bred specifically for meat production and make up almost all of the chicken meat sold in the United States.
JBS too recently found a settlement deal in a lawsuit that accused the company of fixing pork prices for direct buyers by conspiring with other meat processors.
The settlement amount will be reflected in Pilgrim’s fourth quarter earnings.