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Middleman

Never not (writing about) price fixing. Here’s a fantasy job post for the ag media set: “In search of reporter to cover robust poultry price-fixing beat. Responsibilities include: monitoring the constant flow of collusion news (we’re developing a chicken wire for that!), decoding perplexing price indices, and conjuring punchy copy to bolster text that typically includes some combination of the following words: ‘“antitrust,” “allegations,” “false,” and “misleading.” Applications accepted on a rolling basis. This story isn’t going anywhere.

The lawsuit alleges producers “conspired and combined to fix, raise, maintain, and stabilize the price of Broilers.”

To wit: on Monday, Beverly Hills, California-based Lundin Law announced a securities class-action lawsuit against Sanderson Farms, Inc. Sound familiar? It should. Sanderson is one of several major chicken producers named in another class-action suit we’ve been covering–one filed by distributor Maplevale Farms in September, alleging producers “conspired and combined to fix, raise, maintain, and stabilize the price of Broilers,” at least as early as 2008. Yeah, that class action.

But this is a class-action suit of a different breed: Lundin represents not distributors or consumers, but shareholders who may have experienced “severe harm” as a result of falling Sanderson stock prices, which took a tumble after equity research company Pivotal Research downgraded its competitor, Tyson Foods, from “buy” to “sell” due to fears over the September class action.

Been pondering those pricey heritage breeds for your holiday dinners? Now feels like a good time to make the switch.

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Kate Cox

Kate Cox covers the secret life of the supply chain as editor for The New Food Economy. In her former life, she was a freelance health reporter for radio and text. Follow her @thekatecox