Grocers allege potato group pumped up spud prices

Grocers allege potato group pumped up spud prices

Grocers allege potato group pumped up spud prices

Print
Email
|

by John Miller / Associated Press

KTVB.COM

Posted on June 13, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 13 at 1:47 PM

BOISE -- A U.S. wholesale grocer says America's potato farmers are running an illegal price-fixing scheme, driving up spud prices while spying on farmers with satellites to enforce strict limits on how many tubers they can grow.

Kansas-based Associated Wholesale Grocers' lawsuit against United Potato Growers of America was shifted this week to U.S. District Court in Idaho, America's biggest potato-producing state.

The grocery group, which supplies more than 2,000 stores in 24 states, contends the cooperative's members banded together in 2004 to inflate prices in a predatory scheme akin to the petroleum-producing OPEC cartel.

United Potato Growers of America, with growers in 15 states representing three-quarters of U.S. fresh potato production, counters it's succeeded within the bounds of antitrust laws in bringing the potato industry back from the brink of ruin.

Print
Email
|