USDA Settles a Packers and Stockyards Case against The Hain Celestial Group Inc.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - 11:00am

Release No.: 045-20

WASHINGTON, March 3, 2020 – As part of its commitment to ensuring fair and competitive markets for the livestock, meat and poultry industries, on Feb. 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entered into a stipulation agreement with The Hain Celestial Group Inc. (Hain Celestial) for alleged violations of Section 410 of the Packers and Stockyards (P&S) Act. As of June 28, 2019, Hain Celestial had completed the sale of all its poultry operations.

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service alleges that between November 2017 and March 2018, Hain Celestial failed to pay poultry growers in full due to changes in contract payment rates which occurred after the placement of poultry on poultry growers’ farms. The USDA further alleges that the total amount underpaid to poultry growers was approximately $536,695. Hain Celestial neither admits nor denies the allegations. However, to amicably resolve this matter, Hain Celestial agreed to pay the settlement amount in the form of restitution to each poultry grower within sixty 60 days from the date of the stipulation agreement. In addition, under the terms of the stipulation agreement, Hain Celestial waived its rights to a hearing and will pay a total penalty of $50,000.

Section 410 of the P&S Act requires subject entities to issue the full payment for poultry obtained under a poultry growing arrangement by the close of the 15th day following the week in which poultry was slaughtered. Failure to timely pay for purchases and failure to issue the full payment for purchases are violations of Section 410 of the P&S Act.

The P&S Act previously authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to assess civil penalties up to $80,000 per poultry payment violation against any person after notice and opportunity for hearing on the record. The civil penalty increased to $81,633 in March 2018. USDA may offer alleged violators the option of waiving their right to a hearing and entering into a stipulation agreement to quickly resolve alleged violations. The P&S Act is a fair trade practice and payment protection law that promotes fair and competitive marketing environments for the livestock, meat and poultry industries.

For further information about the Packers and Stockyards Act, contact Stuart Frank, Packers and Stockyards Division, at (515) 323-2586, or by email at

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