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Chick-News.com Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Parties in Sanderson Farms Acquisition Accept DOJ Consent Decree

07/27/2022

In documents filed with the U.S. District Court of Maryland, Cargill Meat Solutions, Sanderson Farms and Wayne Farms agreed to pay $84.8 million in restitution to workers.  The case follows intensive investigations by the Department of Justice into allegations that the three companies cited allegedly suppressed wages for plant workers and colluded to restrict payments to contract growers over a minimum of ten years.  Cargill Meat Solutions will pay $15.0 million, Sanderson Farms $38.3 million and Wayne Farms $31.5 million.  The companies accepted the consent agreement without admitting any wrongdoing.  Meng, Sahl and Company, a compensation consultancy, was enjoined from providing services that could be used to restrict wages.  The DOJ settlement is separate from a class-action lawsuit naming Wayne Farms and Sanderson Farms as defendants.

 

In addition to restitution for plant workers, the integrators will abandon aspects of the tournament system and will not be allowed to penalize contractors for documented suboptimal grow-out performance.  The companies will function in accordance with a compliance monitor for a ten-year period to ensure adherence to rules imposed by the Department of Labor and under the USDA Packers and Stockyards Act.

 

The agreement will expedite approval of the $4.5 billion transaction by which Cargill, Inc. and Continental Grain Company will acquire Sanderson Farms to create a new entity, Wayne-Sanderson Farms that will comprise third largest U.S. broiler producer approaching the weekly volume of 2nd-ranked Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation.


 
Copyright © 2022 Simon M. Shane