Big Dairy Accused Of Pricefixing Milk By Paying For Cows To Be Killed

A new class action lawsuit accuses several dairy industry juggernauts of paying mainly small farmers to send their entire herds to the slaughterhouse in order to reduce the supply of milk and jack up milk prices.

The lawsuit contends that a national trust of dairy trade groups, Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) funded a “dairy herd retirement” program which sent 500,000 cows to slaughter in order to boost milk prices from 2003-2010. CWT’s own website (PDF) says the initiative increased profits by $9.5 billion for agribusiness.

In 2010, a similar lawsuit against Land O’ Lakes accused the company of fixing egg prices by paying for poultry flocks to be thinned under an “animal welfare” program. That case settled for $24 million.

Read the lawsuit (PDF)
Dairy Price-Fixing [HBSSLAW]
COK Uncovers $9.5 Billion Price-Fixing Scheme: National Milk Producers Federation and Other Dairy Industry Groups Accused of Antitrust Violations [COK]