Hy-Vee joins other grocers in lawsuit alleging price-fixing by pork processors, higher costs for consumers


Tyler Jette, Des Moines Register

via Ames Tribune (IA) - Jan 11, 2022


It’s Hy-Vee’s turn to sue over alleged price fixing in the pork industry.


Following a well-worn playbook, the West Des Moines-based grocer has filed a lawsuit against the country’s biggest meatpackers as well as a data firm accused of enabling collusion between them. The lawsuit alleges that the firm, Agri Stats, sold detailed reports to the packers that revealed how many pigs their competitors were raising and slaughtering.


The upshot, the lawsuit contends: Meatpacking giants like Tyson Foods and Smithfield Foods used the reports to decrease the amount of pork on the market and raise prices, violating antitrust laws.


“Agri Stats allowed each member of the conspiracy to monitor each other’s ongoing adherence to agreed-upon plans for coordinated pork production limits,” an attorney for Hy-Vee and other grocery chains wrote.


A Hy-Vee spokesperson last week declined to comment on the lawsuit, filed Dec 28. But the company is following hundreds of other meat buyers that have taken Agri Stats and the packers to court over the last several years...