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Farmers File Class Action Lawsuit Against Tyson Foods for Alleged Antitrust Violations

 |  June 18, 2024

A group of farmers who raised chickens for Tyson Foods has filed a class action lawsuit against the meat industry giant. The complaint, lodged in the Circuit Court of Stoddard County, Missouri, on June 6, accuses Tyson Foods of reneging on a promise to refrain from antitrust behavior.

The 45 former Tyson contract growers allege that Tyson Foods had assured local and state officials it would sell its Dexter, Missouri, meatpacking complex to a competitor after closing two plants in the state earlier this year. Instead, Tyson sold the property in March to Cal-Maine Foods, the largest egg production company in the nation, rather than to another meatpacking firm.

Russell Oliver, the Missouri attorney representing the plaintiffs, stated, “Our lawsuit alleges that due to the anti-competitive behavior of the defendants, those families will never again be able to perform the one job they spent millions of dollars to do. This fact renders the value of those farms (that were once worth millions) to nearly nothing.”

The class action lawsuit claims that Tyson Foods and Cal-Maine conspired to prevent a competing meatpacking company from purchasing the Dexter facility, thereby violating Missouri’s antitrust laws. The plaintiffs argue this alleged collusion has effectively destroyed their livelihoods and devalued their farms.

Tyson Foods, a major player in the meatpacking industry with nearly $53 billion in sales in 2023 and operations in 183 chicken facilities nationwide, is now facing significant legal challenges over these allegations.

Source: Investigate Midwest