A Mississippi company has been found guilty of an alleged conspiracy to inflate egg prices for over a decade.
Last week, a jury found that Cal-Maine Foods, Inc., was liable for the conspiracy in the case Kraft Foods Global, Inc. v. United Egg Producers, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
The Ridgeland-based company is currently the largest producer and distributor of fresh shell eggs in the nation and sells the majority of eggs across the southwestern, southeastern, midwestern, and mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S.
As of May 2022, Cal-Maine has a flock consisting of approximately 42.2 million mature female chickens and 11.5 million breeders and chicks.
According to court documents, plaintiffs alleged that the scheme spanned from 1998 to 2008, with damages extending through 2012. The court and jury later determined that any alleged damages would be limited to 2004 to 2008, as well as rejected additional portions of the plaintiffs’ case including the extent of the damages.
“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 company wrote in a statement. “Cal-Maine Foods will vigorously contest plaintiffs’ presentation of purported damages and will continue to assess the decision and options for appeal.”
The damages phase of the trial is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, November 28 and continue into Wednesday, November 29.