Direct purchasers of turkey products likely paid too much due to an illegal price-increasing scheme by food corporations.
An investigation has revealed that for years, major food corporations have illegally increased the price of turkey, forcing U.S. direct purchasers, including grocery stores, to pay artificially high prices for deli meat, ground turkey, whole birds and any other turkey product.
According to the firm’s research, suppliers involved in the price-fixing include: Butterball Turkey, Jennie-O, Cargill Turkey, Farbest Foods, Tyson Foods, Perdue Farms, Cooper Farms, House of Raeford, and Foster Farms which own the following popular brands, among others:
- Applegate Farms
- Boar’s Head
- Carolina Turkey
- Hillshire Farm
- Pilgrims Pride
- Sarah Lee
- Shady Brook Farms
- Foster Farms
ABOUT THE CONSPIRACY
This investigation revealed that since 2008, turkey producers such as Tyson, Hormel and others colluded to knowingly reduce turkey production to artificially inflate prices. The turkey producers engaged in a conspiracy that has cost American direct-purchasers millions of dollars over the years.
The turkey industry rakes in $4 billion dollars a year, and the companies involved in this investigation control the vast majority of the market. Hagens Berman believes that this is a classic conspiracy meant to extract extra profits from purchasers.
On May 24, 2021, Tyson became the first defendant to settle in this price-fixing litigation, resulting in $4.62 million for direct purchasers of turkey. Attorneys look forward to continuing the case against the remaining defendants and bringing additional relief to plaintiffs.
A federal judge issued an opinion and order largely allowing claims against the nation’s largest suppliers of turkey and Agri Stats to continue, stating, “…Plaintiffs have alleged enough to plausibly suggest the existence of a hub-and-spoke conspiracy among the Turkey Defendants to exchange competitively sensitive information with one another through Agri Stats,” adding that the plaintiffs also adequately allege an anti-competitive effect which harmed consumers.
On Oct. 19, 2020, the district court in the Northern District of Illinois denied the motions to dismiss in this antitrust case.