MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. — Seaboard Foods LLC reached a settlement with a class of direct purchasers, agreeing to pay $9.75 million to resolve allegations of a pork price-fixing conspiracy.
The plaintiffs alleged that the company conspired with several other pork processors — including Clemens Food Group LLC, Hormel Foods Corp., Indiana Packers Corp., Smithfield Foods Inc., Triumph Foods LLC, JBS USA, and Tyson Foods Inc. — to manipulate the pork market and its prices. The processors allegedly coordinated supply restrictions and shared competitively sensitive price and product information.
As part of Seaboard’s settlement and in addition to the monetary relief, the company will cooperate with the plaintiffs as they continue prosecution of the litigation.
“This settlement, the terms of which are detailed in this brief and the supporting documents, represents a significant recovery for direct purchaser plaintiffs given Seaboard’s relatively small market share,” the court documents said.
The price-fixing litigations, which dated back to 2018, were officially consolidated and transferred to Minnesota District Judge John Tunheim in December 2022.
In March, the court moved to certify three classes of pork buyers: direct purchaser plaintiffs, commercial and institutional indirect purchaser plaintiffs, and consumer indirect purchaser plaintiffs.
Seaboard is the third company to reach a settlement in the consolidated litigation, following JBS USA and Smithfield Foods, who paid $20 million and $83 million, respectively.