Target Joins Antitrust Lawsuit Against Cargill and Others Over High Beef Costs

Two Minnesota titans — hometown retailer Target and commodities giant Cargill — are squaring off in an ever-expanding antitrust lawsuit alleging price gouging by the nation’s “Big 4″ beef producers.

Last week, Target joined dozens of plaintiffs, including Subway and Kroger, in an ongoing class-action lawsuit against Cargill, JBS, National Beef and Tyson. The meatpackers allegedly coordinated to reduce cattle slaughter volumes beginning in 2015 and continued reductions through the COVID-19 pandemic, generating “suspiciously high” beef prices and plenty of profits, according to the federal lawsuit.

In one instance, following a fire at a Tyson-owned beef plant in Kansas in 2019, competitors all slowed production, according to the lawsuit.

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