Organic Industry Watchdog Asks Federal Antitrust Regulators to Monitor the Sale of Hain Pure ProteinTuesday, July 10th, 2018
[Read Cornucopia’s formal request for scrutiny of the sale of HPP]
Poultry Industry Giant Pilgrim’s Pride Makes Preliminary Bid to Acquire Hain Celestial Poultry Processing Interests
The New York Post reported recently that the prominent organic industry conglomerate, The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., said it plans to divest its interests in Hain Pure Protein (HPP). The operating division sells organic and “natural” chicken and turkey products under its Plainville Farms and Freebird brands. The Cornucopia Institute, an organic industry watchdog, sent a formal request to antitrust regulators asking them to scrutinize the sale of HPP, claiming that, depending on who acquires it, the effect would be to harm competition in the already highly concentrated organic poultry sector.
According to the Post story, Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation put in a bid for HPP in June 2018. Pilgrim’s Pride is currently the nation’s largest organic poultry producer. They entered USDA certified organic chicken production in 2016 with the purchase of the parent company of the “Just Bare” chicken brand, GNP Co. Organic chicken comprises 4% of Pilgrim’s chicken production, but with that they control a huge portion of the rapidly growing organic poultry market.
“It is essential that this sale is closely scrutinized,” said Marie Burcham, a farm policy analyst who specializes in looking at livestock issues for the Wisconsin-based Cornucopia Institute. “As Pilgrim’s Pride is the current industry leader, its potential purchase of Hain Pure Protein raises serious antitrust and anticompetitive concerns.” Read Full Article »