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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Sanderson Farms Receives DOJ Subpoena


According to a Sanderson Farms filing with the SEC on September 9th, the Department of Justice issued a subpoena to obtain documentation with regard to an investigation of alleged collusion with respect to the price of chicken extending from 2008 to 2016.

In 2016, a civil action was filed by a group of restaurants alleging price-fixing by almost all broiler producers. A second case was initiated 2019 by a second group of Plaintiffs comprising food manufacturers. In April the Department of Justice decided to intervene and on June 27th obtained a stay of discovery on the grounds that the Department wished to protect Grand Jury proceedings. On August 4th, Tyson Foods also received a subpoena from the DOJ seeking additional documents and information.

The fact that a company receives a subpoena from the Department of Justice in no way infers guilt or complicity. The Department of Justice frequently uses subpoena powers to review documentation and after due consideration may decide that no legal action is warranted. As public companies, Tyson Foods and Sanderson Farms are obliged to make a public declaration of the Department of Justice action.

Copyright © 2020 Simon M. Shane