The poultry industry executives who were indicted earlier this month on charges of price fixing have entered not guilty pleas. Those executives include Mikell Fries, president of Claxton Poultry Farms; Scott Brady, Claxton Poultry National Accounts Sales Manager, Jayson Penn, Pilgrim’s Pride President/CEO; and Roger Austin, former Pilgrim’s vice president.

Claxton Poultry issued the following statement, per WSAV News: “The allegations attributed to our company are without merit and we intend to vigorously defend our company and its good name as this process moves forward. We will not comment further on the allegations other than to say that since our small start in 1949, we have adhered to the highest standards of food quality, professionalism, integrity and good faith in all our operations.“

Tyson Foods issued the following statement: “Tyson Foods is committed to competing vigorously, honestly and in compliance with the letter and the spirit of the antitrust laws and respects the important role that the Department of Justice plays in enforcing these laws. On April 26, 2019, Tyson was served with a grand jury subpoena from the Antitrust Division of the DOJ concerning a criminal antitrust investigation into the broiler chicken industry. Tyson uncovered information in connection with that investigation, which we immediately self-reported to the DOJ.

Tyson took appropriate actions to address the internal issues and has been fully cooperating with the DOJ as part of its application for leniency under the DOJ’s Corporate Leniency Program. A formal grant of leniency will mean that neither the company nor any of its employees will face criminal fines, jail time or prosecution. Our swift and decisive actions demonstrate our steadfast commitment to treating suppliers, customers and partners with integrity and to fostering a free and fair competitive environment that not only benefits consumers but makes Tyson Foods better.”

Source: Tyson Foods, WSAV News