Canadian court to decide fate of salmon farmers in class action

Editorial Staff

In the proposed settlement, the salmon producers maintain their innocence and deny all allegations of unlawful conduct.

A significant development has occurred in the ongoing Canadian class-action lawsuit alleging price-fixing of farmed Atlantic salmon by major industry players.

Last week, SalmonBusiness reported how major Norwegian salmon producers – including Mowi, Salmar, Grieg, Leroy and Cermaq – had reached a CDN$5.25 million (US$3.8 million) settlement in a Canadian class-action lawsuit alleging the illegal fixing of global and North American prices of farmed Atlantic salmon, a violation of Canada’s Competition Act.

The settlement is now pending approval by the Federal Court. A hearing for the approval of the settlement is scheduled to take place on November 30, at 9:30am via video conference, according to an update released by law firm Koskie Minsky.

The class action lawsuit encompasses all individuals in Canada who have purchased salmon from the aforementioned companies since April 2013. Notably, this excludes the defendants, their parent companies, subsidiaries, and affiliates.

Eligibility for submitting a claim is restricted to settlement class members who purchased more than CAD 1 million (US$730,000) worth of salmon between 2013 and 2019. These eligible claimants will receive compensation either directly or indirectly, with a contribution to Food Banks Canada.

Initiated in 2020 by private individual Gregory Sills, this lawsuit mirrors another similar suit filed by activist Irene Breckon. Both plaintiffs alleged price cooperation among the salmon farming giants, a claim reminiscent of a parallel legal battle in the United States. In that case, Mowi, Leroy, SalMar, Cermaq, and Grieg reached settlements of US$85 million with U.S. seafood buyers and an additional US$33 million with approximately 400,000 indirect salmon purchasers.

This development follows the cessation of the US Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division investigation into alleged price collusion by Norwegian salmon farmers, which began in November 2019.


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