Grocers allege potato group pumped up spud prices
The Associated Press
A U.S. wholesale grocer says America's potato farmers have run an illegal price-fixing cartel for a decade, driving up spud prices while spying on farmers with satellites and aircraft fly-overs to enforce strict limits on how many tubers they can grow.
Kansas-based Associated Wholesale Grocers' lawsuit against United Potato Growers of America and two dozen other defendants was shifted this week to U.S. District Court in Idaho, America's top potato-producing state, which provides 30% of the nation's supply.
The grocery group, a cooperative which supplies more than 2,000 stores including IGA, Thriftway and Price Chopper in 24 states, contends that the potato growers banded together in 2004 to illegally inflate prices in a scheme akin to the petroleum-producing OPEC cartel, reducing planting acreages and destroying potatoes, all to restrict what was available for sale.
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??? Crop "price fixing" has been around as long as I have been alive (and I am old and retired).
But, in the cases, I know of, the U.S. government is the one that sets the crop limit and fixes the price to the consumer.
Try growing wheat, for sale, without getting USAG's permission, and they will spot it (using sats and fly over planes, and WILL come by and plow it under (then charge you for the trouble) to keep the price of bread and flour up). Same with cotton, soy beans, corn, etc. That is the reason the program to pay farmers to NOT GROW CROPS exists. The tax payer pays twice. First to pay for the land to lay fallow, then with price supports at the retail end.
Big seed sellers (I am not sure names can be used) participate in this by letting the government know who buys what. So, I can not see the potato group being any different.
Meat, milk, cheese, etc. all fall under the same umbrella. Check the market price for meat on the hoof (like pork or beef) and you will see the MAXIMUM any farmer will receive. Then calculate 60% after processing weight, add ten cents per pound (very generous) for processing, and you will see what you pay at the store is WAY above true market "supply and demand".
So, is this "product control for market balance" or "price fixing"?
When will the public learn that everything is fixed....big companies control the country one way or another.........medical insurance companies, oil companies, large farming concerns, etal.
Lookwhat has occurred here in Penna and Ohio, NY and WVa. The Marcellus Shale field
generated so much gas that the price fell geatly...so they quit drilling as much til the price
came back up to make it MORE profitable.
By the way, what about the drug companies raking in big profits....protected by the FederalGumint?
Another day another group shafting consumers. That and our clueless, lost in space government that does nothing about this or fails to enforce the rules evenly and protects corporate interests first.
Want to know the real bad thing about potatoes? I saw a documentary that there is a real and growing chance we are setting ourselves up for a repeat of something similar to the Irish potato famine. Similar practices are resulting due to less diversity in crops and pests are getting resistant to insecticides. We see it approaching but little is being done so far. One reason though is fast food and the russet potatoes that are perfect for fries. Interesting how things can be connected. But yes one more food source being threatened that shouldn't be, there are some farmers that are growing diversified crops that include other strains of potatoes but we need more.
Sorry for the somewhat off topic post.
I think its time
WAIT A MINUTE. Why can't the farmer set the price he wants to be paid for his product.
Walmart does it to the consumer so does every other retailor. Farming is the only business that i know of where the person buying the product is setting the price,
The oil companies have done it for year, even the gas station in my home town doe it if one goes up they all go up. This is crazy adn it is not price fixing it is free enterprise. Some poeple think the farmer should not have the right to ask the price he want.
I notice that a little box of instant mashed potatoes cost more than $3.00. This is the same price that the huge box cost 2 years ago. To make matters worse, the stores I buy from are IGA. But here lately in the South, they been having a potato war. I did buy that 20 lb bag of russet potatoes for $2.99. I wonder if you were a farmer and you planted your own potatoes, what would be said?
Speaking of gardens, mine is nice, I have to go buy vinegar to put up cucumbers and peppers. Yes, I can some of my food. I also freeze some too. I getting a gallon of ice cream today for $2.99. I have a $3.00 off any IGA product.
No matter how valid the claim, the suit against potato growing OPEC won't succeed in ANY Idaho court. Judges are just hired whores for corporate America, more especially EVERY judge in the federal bankruptcy system.
Corruption pervades our government, but especially the courts. Cops, prosecutors and judges are the most vile, despicable, violent, and corrupted in our society -- cops doing their MOB justice against helpless, poor, drunk, or those otherwise unable to defend themselves; prosecutors ignoring evidence that lends toward innocence while falsifying evidence, planting evidence, lying to the jury, and so on in order to increase convictions so they are faux-qualified to become a judge; Judges -- ALL OF THEM -- the worst whores of society, mock justice, fend for corporate cheats-greedmongers-liars and agitate/conspire against the working class, working poor, and poor.
This POTATO case will be just one more in another shenanigan perpetrated against the poor of America by the phony owners of "Our" JUSTICE SYSTEM.
There is only one solution to all of the gouging, price fixing etc. STOP..... don't use gas, don't buy from thieves, eg. the milk cartels, banks etc. Minimize the use and exposure to everything until they are drowning in their goods they have. Stop demand and watch the prices tumble.
But as usual the idiots will grumble and moan and keep on paying.
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