Cattle Producers' Beef With Meat Packers Could Be a Lose-Lose Scenario

May 1, 2019 09:23 AM

Just last week, R-CALF USA filed a lawsuit against four major meat packers. According to Drovers, a class action lawsuit was filed in Chicago on behalf of R-CALF USA and four cattle-feeding ranchers against America’s four largest packing companies. The litigation seeks to “prevent the big four packers from capturing the U.S. cattle market from independent U.S. cattle producers,”

The suit, filed Tuesday, April 23, 2019, is against Tyson Foods, Inc., JBS S.A., Cargill, Inc., and National Beef Packing Company, LLC, and certain of their affiliates, who collectively purchase and process over 80% of the U.S.’s fed cattle annually.

R-CALF and the four ranchers are represented by Scott+Scott Attorneys at Law LLP, a national antitrust and securities litigation firm, along with Cafferty Clobes Meriwether & Sprengel LLP. The four cattle feeders are from Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Wyoming.

The suit alleges violations of U.S. antitrust laws, the Packers and Stockyards Act, and the Commodity Exchange Act by unlawfully depressing the prices paid to American ranchers.

However, the lawsuit could be a "lose-lose" scenario for the plaintiffs. Watch Drovers Editor, Greg Henderson, explain why on U.S. Farm Report

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