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Farmers Vs Crop Chemical Companies Over Antitrust Lawsuit

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Farmers Vs Crop Chemical Companies Over Antitrust Lawsuit – Price Inflation?

Farmers Took On Major Crop Chemical Companies Over Price Inflation Conspiracy

Major crop chemical companies, including Bayer, Cargill, and Syngenta, are facing a class action lawsuit for allegedly conspiring to inflate the prices of their products.

Plaintiffs complained that they, and fellow farmers, have dealt with over 300% increase in prices over the past two decades. 

These involved various crop input products, including seeds, fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides.

The increases were claimed to have been implemented because of alleged scheming and conniving to inflate prices of crop chemicals and seeds between the companies mentioned above. 

Consumers claim that the increases do not even reflect the yields of the farmers nor the increases in investment in research and development like they should have.

Read more about the case under the name: Duncan v. Bayer CropScience LP, et al., Case No. 3:21-cv-00158, S.D. Ill.

How The Practice Of Price Inflation Really Affects Farmers

According to the class-action lawsuit, crop chemical companies and seed-producing companies resorted to this practice of price inflation in response to emerging technology that posed a threat to their bottom line. 

The technology referred was the electronic Crop Inputs sales platforms that farmers use to buy crops more cheaply. These platforms include Farmers Business Network and AgVend, Inc.

Before these platforms were launched, farmers used to find it hard to navigate the process of procuring crop inputs.

This is why these platforms were established. Crop chemical manufacturers, however, boycotted these platforms to keep the prices high.

When the platforms attempted to circumvent the boycott and sought their own crop producers, the major crop chemical companies allegedly canceled their contracts which led to platforms being forced to shut down, leaving farmers with no choice but to purchase from the crop companies at inflated prices.

The class action argues that the impairment of competition in the retail market for crop inputs, especially with the elimination of electronic platforms such as Farmers Business Network and AgVend, Inc., has led to the artificial increase of prices for farmers to pay. 

This, in turn, results in an increase in the prices of farm products that consumers buy, including grain and corn, as farmers are forced to compensate for the expenses that they have incurred in the production of their crops.

Antitrust investigations and lawsuits are being filed as well against major manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers selling crop inputs in Canada. 

Earlier last year, agricultural companies including Bayer AG, Corteva Inc., and BASF SE are being accused of blocking a tech startup intending to shift North American farmers’ purchasing online. 

Canada’s Competition Bureau is investigating the companies as well as farm-supply wholesalers like Cargill Inc. and Univar Solutions Inc. after they allegedly stopped supplying California-based online retailer Farmers Business Network Inc., or FBN and their newly acquired Canadian business, urging others in the industry not to do business with FBN.

Editor’s Note on Farmers Vs Crop Chemical Companies Over Antitrust Lawsuit:

This piece is written about the recent Crop Chemical Companies Antitrust Lawsuit that affects thousands of farmers across the country.

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