Did Potato Group Spy On Farmers With Satellites, Aircraft?

In what is almost certainly the strangest lawsuit we have ever seen that primarily involves potatoes, the Associated Wholesale Grocers are suing the United Potato Growers of America. The grocers' complaint: the spud growers are spying on farmers using satellites and aircraft fly-overs. (What, no Red Baron? Not even Snoopy?) In this lawsuit, the Kansas-based grocers association, a cooperative supplying more than 2,000 stores including IGA, Thriftway and Price Chopper in 24 states, contends potato growers have banded together for a decade to illegally inflate prices in a scheme akin to the petroleum-producing OPEC cartel, reducing planting acreages and destroying potatoes to restrict what is available for sale. "UPGA utilized predatory conduct and coercive conduct in ensuring compliance with the price-fixing scheme," according to the lawsuit, which alleges tactics including use of "satellite imagery, fly-overs, GPS systems, and other methods to enforce its agreement to reduce potato supply." Story