A class action lawsuit is accusing Hormel, Tyson Foods, and other meatpacking companies of artificially raising the price of hot dogs, bacon, and other pork products with the help of a company called Agri Stats, an info-sharing service. A Bloomberg report says the complaint was filed by a group of meat buyers in a Minnesota court on Thursday.
The complaint accuses the meat packers of conspiring with the service to exchange “detailed, competitively sensitive, and closely-guarded non-public information.” The buyers claim that the scheme boosted prices by more than 50 percent. The “year-average” price in the hog market was $76.30 in 2015, after being at or below $50 annually from 1998-2009.
Hormel Foods issues a statement saying, “Hormel Foods is a 127-year-old global branded food company with a reputation as one of the most respected companies in the food industry. We are confident that these allegations are completely without merit and intend to vigorously defend this lawsuit.” A Tyson spokesman says they haven’t seen a copy of the lawsuit so they’re unable to comment on it.