Mississippi egg producer responds to guilty verdict for conspiracy to inflate prices
Published 11:42 pm Monday, November 27, 2023
Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ: CALM) (“Cal-Maine Foods” or the “Company”), the largest producer and distributor of fresh shell eggs in the United States, today issued the following statement:
Approximately 20 years ago, Cal-Maine Foods along with many other fresh egg producers in the United States, responded to growing demands from consumers and retailers to improve the overall treatment of egg laying hens. These programs were in line with other prevailing animal welfare laws across the protein industry and were not intended to restrict supply and affect prices. The programs were supported by our customers and form the basis of many state laws across the country today.
On November 21, 2023, a jury found that defendants, including Cal-Maine Foods, Inc., were liable for an alleged conspiracy to inflate egg product prices in the case Kraft Foods Global, Inc. et al. v. United Egg Producers, Inc. et al., Case No. 1:11-cv-8808 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The damages phase of the trial is scheduled to take place on November 28 and 29, 2023.
While we are disappointed with the overall decision, we prevailed on a number of issues that we believe are important and should ultimately define this case. The plaintiffs alleged a conspiracy running from 1998-2008 with damages extending through 2012. The court and jury determined that any alleged damages would be limited to the period 2004-2008. The jury also rejected other key portions of the plaintiffs’ case that we believe should limit the plaintiffs’ damages request further.
Cal-Maine Foods will vigorously contest plaintiffs’ presentation of purported damages and will continue to assess the decision and options for appeal.