Potato Growers Seek Investigation Of Huge Processor

Southern Idaho potato growers filed a request with the United States Department of Justice on Friday seeking an investigation into allegations that ConAgra violated anti-trust laws. The (ID) Twin Falls Times-News reported Sunday that the Idaho Office of the Attorney General confirmed that it relieved, signed and sent a letter of request on behalf of the Southern Idaho Potato Cooperative to the Department of Justice.

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The cooperative, which represents about 300 potato growers in Idaho, alleges that ConAgra Lamb Weston terminated grower contracts that it approved earlier in the year, the newspaper reported. At the same time, cooperative officials say, company field men asked growers individually to sign joint-venture contracts that would give ConAgra greater control of their operations and undermining SIPCO.

Lamb Weston officials did not return phone calls from the Times-News. The Department of Justice confirmed that it received the request; however, a spokeswoman added that the department does not comment on current or pending investigations.

For the newspaper’s full report,click here.