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NatureSweet® Sues Mastronardi for Imitating Packaging, Farm.One Reopens Neighborhood Farm After Securing Long-Term Funding, and More Indoor Farming News
Legal battles over packaging and funding for urban farms dominate this week's indoor farming news, alongside updates on industry innovations and upcoming events.
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Hello and welcome to This Week in Indoor Farming! In today's edition, we'll discuss NatureSweet's latest legal action against Mastronardi Produce to protect its packaging and brand, and the reopening of Farm.One's hydroponic indoor vertical farm in Brooklyn. We'll also briefly touch on other industry news and updates on events, articles, and podcasts. Stay tuned for an insightful look into the world of indoor farming!
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This Week in Indoor Farming
A third legal action has been brought by NatureSweet®, the exclusive provider of greenhouse-grown veggies, against Mastronardi Produce LTD and Mastronardi Produce-USA, Inc. According to the lawsuit, Mastronardi is imitating NatureSweet’s authorized packaging and confusing customers. The No. 1 snacking tomato brand in North America, CHERUBS®, has NatureSweet fighting to protect its intellectual property. NatureSweet® will continue to defend its brand and recognizable packaging, which have helped decommoditize the snacking tomato sector in retail since its 2006 launch, driven by its objective to improve the lives of agricultural laborers in North America.
According to the lawsuit, Mastronardi made an effort to imitate NatureSweet’s packaging in 2021 and 2012. Mastronardi began utilizing alternative packaging as a result of earlier litigation brought by NatureSweet. Mastronardi is currently attempting to “borrow” equity that the NatureSweet CHERUBS® brand has built and fostered for more than ten years, as specified in the lawsuit. “We are surprised that others would need to resort to copying our known packaging to confuse consumers and draft on our investment,” said Michael Joergensen, Chief Marketing Officer of NatureSweet. “We invest millions of dollars in marketing in our brand which drove category growth.”
“This litigation aims to defend the integrity of the grape tomato category, which is currently the largest tomato segment, principally as a result of the caliber, investment, and general dedication of NatureSweet, together with the resounding backing of our retail partners. Customers have come to rely on CHERUBS®’ exceptional and dependable quality from NatureSweet. This trust might be destroyed by a negative product-buying experience if the customer is unsure which product is NatureSweet.
Farm.One (website), the hydroponic indoor vertical farming business renowned for its distinctive and tasty premium salad greens, specialty herbs, edible flowers, and microgreens, has reopened its Neighborhood Farm in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, after securing long-term expansion finance from DK-Bell Holding Company. The farm will have a 1,500-square-foot showroom and private event area called The Pavilion that can accommodate up to 70 people and is surrounded by plants. Farm.One has won praise from locals and celebrity chefs for its low-volume, high-touch “kitchen table” strategy.
DK-Bell recognized Farm.One as a unique urban farm in late 2022 swiftly provided long-term funding and set the organization on the road to resurrection. The CEO of DK-Bell claims that this company “farms the highest quality greens, hands down, using innovative sustainable practices, and has an amazing connection with customers, whether it be a Michelin-rated chef at a high-end restaurant or a local member at their kitchen table.”
According to Farm.One CEO Rob Laing, “Closing the farm in February 2022 was a heartbreaking and perplexing time for us all.” But now that we’re back in business, we’re happy to be able to offer the freshest, tastiest greens and herbs to our neighborhood.