US farm groups worried about Smithfield deal
Fifteen farm groups have asked the Department of Justice to examine the announced purchase of Premium Standard Farms (PSF) by Smithfield Foods.
The groups, asking for scrutiny into the sale and relationship between stakeholders in the two companies, comes after anti-trust worries, urged by Iowa senators, on the announced deal.
Smithfield, the world’s largest pork company, announced earlier this month the company would buy PSF, which is the second-largest pork producer in the country.
The deal is worth $810 million and would give Smithfield a sow herd of about 1 million head. Smithfield also would control about 31% of the nation’s pork slaughter.
The major complaint is that PSF’s largest shareholder, ContiGroup, also has a partnership with Smithfield, as ContiGroup and Smithfield merged their cattle-feeding operations in 2005.
The expanding Smithfield company also faced criticism from human rights activists last week, protesting against alleged abusive treatment of 5,500 predominantly Latinan and Afro-American workers, who would have been denied to join a union.