Poultry Executives Indicted Over Price Fixing Allegations

Financial Times writer Gregory Meyer reported last week that, “Four US poultry executives have been indicted in the first criminal case to emerge from a years-long investigation into whether meat companies rigged the price of chicken sold to restaurants and grocers.

“One of the defendants is the chief executive of Pilgrim’s Pride, a New York-listed poultry company controlled by JBS of Brazil, the world’s largest meat producer. Another is president of Georgia-based Claxton Poultry.

“Each of the four executives was accused of conspiring to fix prices and rig bids for broiler chickens, the type of bird raised for meat.”

The FT article stated that, “The US Department of Justice antitrust division probe followed civil lawsuits from food distributors, supermarket chains and farmers alleging that US chicken companies had colluded in reducing production and driving up wholesale prices. Colorado-based Pilgrim’s Pride previously disclosed receiving a justice department subpoena last July.

“Other US poultry companies have also disclosed federal subpoenas related to the chicken investigation, including Tyson Foods — the largest US meat company — and Sanderson Farms. None of the companies has been charged.”

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