Fieldale Farms Corp., one of the companies named in a lawsuit accusing the chicken industry of collusing to keep meat prices artificially high, has proposed to pay $2.25 million to settle the charges. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company also agreed to provide documents and other information to the plaintiffs, which are suing 13 other chicken companies in the same case.
Maplevale Farms Inc., a food service distributor in Falconer, N.Y., last year sued chicken processors including Tyson Foods Inc., Pilgrim's Pride Corp. and Sanderson Farms Inc., alleging a yearslong effort to boost the price of broiler chicken meat. The plaintiffs alleged that chicken companies coordinated production and exchanged private information on prices and sales volume to keep prices artificially high for wholesalers, grocery stores and consumers. The lawsuit, which has been joined by restaurants and other chicken buyers, is seeking class-action status.
Fieldale is not admitting to any wrongdoing in the settlement. Fieldale and the plaintiffs aim to present the settlement this week to the judge in the case.
Source: Foodmarket.com/Dow Jones & Co.