Hormel Foods reaches settlement in pork litigation

Previous settlements with JBS and Tyson bring total amount to more than $57 million.

Krissa Welshans, Livestock Editor

April 9, 2024

1 Min Read
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A $2.43 million settlement between Hormel Foods and commercial and institutional indirect pork purchasers has been reached and preliminarily approved, according to newly filed court documents in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota. This is the third settlement reached in the lawsuit, bringing the total amount to more than $57 million. Settlements with JBS and Tyson had been previously reached.

The settlement agreement, which is pending finally approval, was “negotiated and entered into at arm’s length by experienced counsel, raises no obvious reasons to doubt its fairness, and is sufficiently within the range of reasonableness…” However, court filings state that the agreement is not an “admission or evidence of a violation of any statute, law, rule, or regulation or of any liability or wrongdoing by Hormel Foods.”

The lawsuit alleges that Hormel, along with other major U.S. pork producers Smithfield Foods, JBS USA, Clemens Food Group, Hormel Foods, Seaboard Foods, Triumph Foods, Tyson Foods, and Agri Stats Inc. conspired to constrain the supply, and fix the price, of pork beginning in at least 2009.

The indirect purchasers allege the “conspiracy” was coordinated through Agri Stats “by providing highly sensitive ‘benchmarking’ reports to most pork integrators, thereby allowing competitors to compare their profits or performance against that of other companies.” The effect of this anti-competitive exchange of non-public information allegedly allowed pork integrators to control the supply and price of pork, the document adds.

About the Author(s)

Krissa Welshans

Livestock Editor

Krissa Welshans grew up on a crop farm and cow-calf operation in Marlette, Michigan. Welshans earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University and master’s degree in public policy from New England College. She and her husband Brock run a show cattle operation in Henrietta, Texas, where they reside with their son, Wynn.

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