NEWS: FTC, DOJ Must Investigate Cargill’s Proposed Roll-Up Of Sanderson Farms

August 9, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — The American Economic Liberties Project on Monday called for federal investigations of Cargill’s reported attempt to absorb one of its few remaining industrial agriculture competitors.

“Monopoly power is already strangling the chicken business as it is. Another mega-merger that enriches executives at the expense of farmers, shoppers, and meatpacking workers is the last thing rural America needs right now,” Economic Liberties’ Senior Advisor J.D. Scholten said. “Cargill’s planned roll-up of Sanderson Farms will further entrench the monopolization that poultry giants use to fix prices across the market, trap farmers in abusive contracts, and endanger line workers during a global pandemic. The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice must investigate and challenge any such merger — or pass up a chance to reverse the decades of federal antitrust neglect that have pushed America’s farming communities to the brink of collapse.”

Poultry processing is already intensely concentrated, with 54 percent of the market controlled by just four firms. Reports indicate Cargill’s planned purchase of Sanderson, the country’s third-largest chicken-processing monopolist, would take that four-firm market dominance up over 60 percent. Corporate poultry processors have already been caught red-handed fixing prices and face an ongoing federal investigation into their collusive market manipulation.