A class-action lawsuit filed this week on behalf of pork consumers alleges that hog companies have colluded to artificially hike the price of pork — and their profits. The complaint also provides new insight into Agri Stats, a data-sharing company that sits at the center of the wave of antitrust allegations sweeping the meat sector.(No paywall)
Just a few months after news broke that the nation’s top attorneys are investigating Big Chicken for alleged antitrust violations, similar allegations are piling up against Big Beef. Consumers, ranchers, and a meat distributor have now filed lawsuits alleging that the country’s biggest beef companies have broken antitrust law by conspiring to raise the price of beef and lower the amount paid to producers.
A Brazilian-owned meat processing company undercut its competition by more than $1 per pound to win nearly $78 million in pork contracts through a federal program launched to help American farmers offset the impact of the ongoing trade war. As a result, JBS USA has won more than 26 percent of the $300 million the USDA has allocated so far for pork purchases — more than any other company, according to the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.(No paywall)
In a new lawsuit, environmental advocates say a Colorado beef-packing plant owned by JBS has been dumping polluted wastewater into a river for years. The suit comes as the Brazilian company is under fire for taking millions in President Trump's tariff bailout payments. (No paywall)
A new bill from Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro would require that a subset of tariff bailout funds be allocated to American producers only. The bill comes after reports that tens of millions of dollars in bailout funds have been spent on products from Brazilian meatpacking giant JBS.
Last week, several Midwestern feedlot owners along with the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund (R-CALF) filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that dominant meatpackers conspired to depress cattle prices starting in 2015. The case argues that JBS, Tyson, Cargill, and National Beef strategically cut back on open market cattle bids, closed plants, and imported costly foreign cattle in order to force farmers to accept lower prices and manipulate spot market cattle values.(No paywall)
An undercover investigation by the farm animal welfare group Mercy For Animals recorded multiple instances of animal abuse and extreme confinement on Tosh Farms, a pork producer and supplier to JBS, the largest meat company in the world. The investigation coincides with an approaching ballot measure in California that would outlaw such practices for products sold in the state.
Marfrig Global Foods, a Brazilian meat processor, has acquired National Beef for $969 million. The deal will make Marfrig the second-largest beef processor in the world, after Brazil’s JBS.
In December 2006, Immigration and Customs Enforcement carried out the largest workplace raid in history. They arrested over 1,300 workers in six states, including 300 from Cactus, Texas, a small town with just over 3,000 residents. The Cactus workers were picked up from a meatpacking plant, then owned by Swift & Co. before it was acquired by JBS in 2007.
Meatpacking giant JBS has agreed to sell Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, the world’s largest feedlot operation, to New York-based Pinnacle Asset Management. Five Rivers feeds 900,000 head in multiple states.