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Food Manufacturers’ Lawsuit Against U. S. Egg Producers to Proceed


A federal court has allowed plaintiffs, Kraft Foods Global, Nestle USA and General Mills to introduce export data for eggs to support their lawsuit.  The plaintiffs claim that organizations representing egg producers and major companies including Cal-Maine Foods and Rose Acre Farms conspired to restrict domestic egg supply through exports.  The order allowing the trial to proceed, issued by U. S. District Judge, Steven Seeger, will allow both sides to present evidence. Claims against United Egg Producers and U.S. Egg Marketers and cited major egg producers claiming conspiracy were settled.  These claims arose from the introduction of a welfare program mandating lower stocking density.


The U.S. export of eggs to a limited range of nations is based on availability and price.  For the first six months of 2023, 45.2 million dozen shell eggs and 17,028 metric tons of egg products were exported collectively representing 2.5 percent of total production.  When egg output was constrained by HPAI during 2015 and again during the 2022 epornitics, exports represented only one percent of production. It is highly unlikely and frankly illogical to accept that any manipulation of supply through exports could have materially influenced prices to the detriment of the plaintiffs.