Veronica Foods Olive Oil Unfair Competition Defense
|Unfair Competition and Fraud|
The North American Olive Oil Association has filed a lawsuit alleging that our client, Veronica Foods, and its distributors defame the NAOOA's members and engage in false advertising by labeling Veronica Foods' olive oils as "Ultra Premium" after ensuring that they meet very stringent standards of freshness and quality. The NAOOA further alleges that Veronica Foods and its distributors defame the NAOOA by publicizing academic studies concluding that some supermarket brands of "extra virgin" olive oils are so old and/or degraded that they should not be labeled as "extra virgin" olive oil. This lawsuit parallels other strategic lawsuits filed by the NAOOA aimed at suppressing evidence that mass marketed olive oils do not meet the chemical and quality standards indicative of "extra virgin" olive oil and preventing artisanal extra virgin olive oil distributors from characterizing their products as superior to mass marketed brands.
The Court granted Veronica Foods' motion to dismiss arguing that the NAOOA's complaint failed to plead a valid cause of action. NAOOA appealed that decision. The appeal is currently pending.