On the 24th of October, 2019, the verdict of the lawsuit from Agrupost against Sanicitrus SL - better known as Sanifruit-, that had been presented for “false advertising and dishonest competition,” was published. This verdict ruled in favor of Sanifruit's interests, by the court in charge of this case, their understanding being that there was neither one fact nor the other.
"On December 10th, 2019, after two and a half long years, the verdict was ratified in all of its terms", says Javier Biel, Manager of Sanifruit. "After the lawsuit was filed, ‘someone’ took charge of alerting the Health Department of the Generalitat Valenciana, so that they may investigate the alleged inclusion of unauthorized substances for its use in post-harvest treatment, always according to Agrupost’s criteria. The health inspectors showed up at Sanifruit to take samples of the reported product. For whatever reason, which we are not aware of, the following day they went back to take another sample".
Since no unauthorized substance had been found, not even the one which was reported, the dossier was filed without further actions. Then, the only issue to solve was the resolution of the “false advertising and dishonest competition” lawsuit, the verdict of which was dictated on July of 2018, turning out to be in favor of Sanifruit, as has been already said. "We shall add here that this is the fifth time that the justice system has agreed with us and dismissed Agrupost’s false claims, in similar or even the same terms, always ruling in Sanifruit’s favor," points out Javier Biel.
"If, in a regular situation, this is already overboard, in our case it has also turned out to cause great damage to our business since, while the lawsuit was underway -two and a half years this time- our competitors, whom everyone knows are Agrupost’s subsidiaries (Critosol SA, Fomesa Fruitech SL, Decco Iberia SAU, Agrofresh-Tecnidex) have done nothing but spread false claims and lies, telling to all that would listen that our products were ridden with unauthorized substances – and they weren’t just a few who would listen. This lawsuit has gone on for two campaigns, with the consequent damage dealt to Sanifruit."
Agrupost presented as witnesses representatives of two important fruits & vegetables associations in Comunitat Valenciana and others. "Neither could give more testimony than their own personal opinion – of course, since we have no record that either of those associations have ever carried out any test or essays on our products, as was credited in the court hearing," he says.
"Back in the day when Sanifruit, then Biel’s, was starting their business, Francisco (Paco) Biel saw that the future was in being able to use treatments based off all-natural commodities, non-polluting, that generated no waste. His idea has been proven to be brilliant", explains the representative of this firm.
Today, Paco Biel’s sons, Javier and Erica, have taken charge of Sanifruit, continuing on their father’s legacy and employing 17 workers. "It’s a small business, but businesses shouldn’t be measured only by how big they are, but by what they give back to society", says Javier Biel.
"Agrupost is a group that declares in Article #2 of their statutes that their objective is to “[…] promote, defend and improve formulated products and their application, for use in post-harvest treatments of fruits and vegetables of its constituents […] adopting conjoined strategies of diffusion, promotion, marketing and advertisement […]”
"It’s hardly understandable that these businesses, which together have a very high economic potential -over 60 million euros per year, nearly thirty times as much as the business they attacked, which is around 2.5 million euros of turnover from Sanifruit- don’t use the marketing strategies that they have so readily available to carry out these acts ethically. Perhaps they should have used their money on research and development, instead of attacking us", he states.
"We’d like to reach out to any association or business that believes they should change their mind about Sanifruit. More so, we will be available to whoever would like to know more about these fats, to prove with hard facts what has been previously said. To this purpose, we have put up on our website sanifruit.com. the aforementioned verdict, also publicly available clicking here", concludes Javier Biel.