The New York District Attorney’s Office has settled a legal dispute with a farm accused of illegally raising egg prices during the pandemic, requiring the company to donate 1.2 million eggs to state food banks to be distributed to people in need.
“As New Yorkers struggled to get food, one of the nation’s largest egg producers raised prices to unprecedented levels, making it harder for New Yorkers to feed their families,” state Attorney General Letitia James said in a message on her Twitter account, in which she also released images of her and some of her aides showing off the eggs.
The company is Hillandale Farms Corporation, which was denounced by the Prosecutor’s Office last August for speculating on the prices of this food in the first months of the pandemic, in violation of local laws.
Without going to trial, the farm pledged not to raise egg prices again and agreed to donate 100,000 cartons to thousands of soup kitchens, homeless shelters and food distribution centers for the needy.
“Hillandale may have run afoul of our state’s price hike laws and devised a scheme aimed at our state’s most vulnerable at its darkest hour, but today we are delivering 1.2 million eggs to feed hungry New Yorkers and make things right,” the DA said.
According to the prosecution, between March and April 2020, the farm made a million-dollar profit by “illegally increasing” the price of this product to the supermarkets and stores it supplies in the state.
The company, based in Ohio and Pennsylvania, raised the price of a dozen large white eggs from $ 0.59 to $ 1.10 in early March and increased it again on the 15th of that month to $ 1.49 and then set it at $ 2.93, “almost five times more than the price it was asking in January”.
Hillandale, which last August 12 categorically denied the prosecution’s accusation in a statement, today assured that it “is pleased to announce that it will donate 100,000 dozen eggs to New York food funds as part of a negotiated settlement with the Attorney General.”
After stressing that the egg case “has been permanently dismissed,” it maintains that the agreement “reflects Hillandale Farm’s deep concern for the community it serves,” and they are pleased to be able to help “the most vulnerable families,” something that seems to contradict the Attorney General’s claims.