Last July, the ruling on the case against Sanicitrus S.L., better known as Sanifruit, was brought to light in a lawsuit filed by Agrupost for "misleading advertising and unfair competition." The ruling was favorable to the interests of Sanifruit, as the Court believed that there was no culpability in any of the accusations.
When the lawsuit was first filed, Agrupost gave the Health Department of the Government of Valencia the authority to investigate the possible inclusion of unauthorized post-harvest substances in Sanifruit's products. "The sanitary inspectors showed up at our facilities to collect samples of the reported product for them be analyzed. We do not know why, but the next day, the inspectors showed up again to collect another sample. This was strange and unusual, but they must have had their reasons. In both cases, the procedure did not go ahead, since the substance that was the subject of the alleged complaint was not found, so the case was closed without further action," says Javier Biel, manager of Sanifruit.
According to the entrepreneur, if anyone within the agro-food industry observes any irregularity, they have the obligation to report it to the competent authorities. "This may seem logical, but it is surely not when such actions entail a desire to harm a competitor."
Sanifruit is a family business which originated from Biel's Citrus, founded by Paco Biel; a person who is well known in the sector for his good and constant work aimed at providing solutions for the post-harvest of citrus. Given his knowledge, he is considered a big name by many people and companies in the sector. At present, the company has been taken over by us, the children of Paco Biel; that is, my sister Érica and myself," says Javier Biel.
Agrupost is a group formed by a limited number of members, including the companies Decco Ibérica, Citrosol, Tecnidex and Fomesa Fruitech.
"This is the third time in a little less than 7 years that Agrupost takes action against us, always with the same result: the dismissal of the case. The first time, the case relied on criminal law, so the Guardia Civil had to be involved, with a display worthy of a spy movie. There were searches in the private home of Paco Biel and in his facilities, and interventions were carried out on customers who use Paco Biel's products," says Javier Biel.
"After a year of prior proceedings, the case was closed without even going to trial because the facts reported (the presence of unknown components that are harmful to health in the products marketed by the Biel family) could not be proven with any of the numerous samples collected. Perhaps because the initial criminal complaint presented was due to some samples of an unknown product obtained in an unknown manner. In fact, the text of the complaint literally said: 'has arrived to our hands anonymously', referring to attached samples that were theoretically from products of the Biel family," he says.
"Despite what has been said, and as we believe that we should always work in a positive way in any market, we offer our hand to any association that believes it is appropriate to rectify their opinion about us. We remain at their disposal to provide them with as much information as necessary, reaching out to their associates so that they are able to meet the needs of the demanding European markets. Likewise, we make ourselves available to any company or person in the sector who wants to know more about these facts. We have tried to be very scrupulous in terms of value judgements; we just wished to provide information on the facts, so that whoever reads them, can form their own opinion," concludes Javier Biel.
For more information:
Polígono Ind. La Pahilla. Calle Collao, Parcela 238
46370 Chiva – Valencia. Spain
T: +34 669442281