Alabama chicken farmers get first settlements in federal lawsuit

Perdue Farms and Tyson Foods agreed to pay out $35 million in the price-fixing lawsuit.


By Josh Moon, Alabama Political Reporter

Sep 7, 2021


Alabama chicken farmers have notched their first victories in a closely watched federal price-fixing lawsuit, as two of the chicken industry’s biggest companies — Tyson Foods and Perdue Farms — agreed to a $35 million settlement.


Led by Alabama farmers, the lawsuit was filed in federal court in Oklahoma and names as defendants the country’s top chicken producers — Tyson, Perdue, Pilgrim’s Pride, Koch Foods and Sanderson Farms. The lawsuit alleges that the companies conspired to fix wages and rig a system that unfairly benefitted the companies while suppressing the earnings of family farmers.


Farmers in the lawsuit said they earned as little as $12,000 per year, as they worked 16- and 18-hour days, even as company profits soared to more than $1 billion annually for some of the companies.


Under the agreement reached, Tyson and Perdue won’t admit wrongdoing. Tyson will pay $21 million and Perdue will pay $14.75 million. In a statement to the Associated Press, Perdue continued to defend the grower system it uses...